The X Factor judge Gary Barlow has admitted he feels responsible for former contestant hopeful Frankie Cocozza going astray.

The party-loving teenager was booted out of the show on Tuesday after apparently boasting about drugs, which programme bosses said broke the rules.

His mentor Gary said he feels a ‘level of responsibility’ for Frankie’s departure and also blamed fellow panellist Louis Walsh for giving the 18-year-old negative comments on Saturday night.

In a press conference announcing the new twist, in which four acts are up for a public vote for one of them to return to The X Factor, the Take That star said: “I do feel a level of responsibility towards him, but unfortunately I can’t follow him around all week.”

When asked about what led to Frankie’s behaviour, Gary said: “I read messages, whether they were online, in the newspaper or on Twitter and they were all telling him he is not good enough.

“And the audience booed him on Saturday so I can kind of see where his life has led to in the last seven days and I don’t feel good about it at all and I don’t think anyone who has contributed to it should.

“I don’t want to isolate it to an incident, but I felt Louis your comments to Frankie on Saturday night weren’t encouraging.”

Walsh retorted that he was ‘only being honest’.