Andrew Lloyd Webber has slammed Simon Cowell’s talent shows saying they torture the contestants.

The musical guru said that programmes like Britain’s Got Talent use tricks to boost the contestants’ performance.

Speaking before the launch of his TV search for the UK’s Eurovision song, Your Country Needs You, Andrew said to The Sun: “The mantra of the show is that we nurture, we don’t torture.”

One of the six acts competing to represent Britain in Moscow are identical twins, Francine and Nicola, who were rejected by Simon in the X Factor auditions.

Andrew said: “He doesn’t work with the artists like I do. I’m here to get the best out of everybody.”

“All my acts call me Andrew, and they all call my mobile when they need help. There will be no tricks on this show. Over my dead body.”

He said: “We have a live band and we have performers who will deliver live to the best of their ability. We don’t have off-stage backing singers who come in and maybe trace harmonies.”

The six acts through to the final are The Emperors of Soul, a four-piece gospel group, female singers Jade Ewen and Charlotte Finlay-Tribe, twins Francine and Nicola Gleadall, and male solo performers Damien Flood and Mark Evans.

The public vote begins on BBC January 10.