Sharon Osbourne has spoken out for the first time about her decision to leave The X Factor, saying she was “exhausted” by the show.

Speaking at the Edinburgh TV Festival the 55-year-old – who quit the show in June following an argument over a £500,000 pay rise – also said that the backstage dramas on the show were real.

“It definitely is not put on,” she said, “it’s a very emotional show to work on.”

“You have a huge responsibility to a lot of people, and everybody gets over-emotional. It’s draining, it takes so much out of you.”

Sharon also admitted that some of the hopefuls on the show were “pushed” in order to achieve a good reaction from the judges and make for “good TV” – although she did say she had sometimes been wrong in her decisions and arguments with the other judges.

And she had words of advice for fellow celeb Kerry Katona, who was made bankrupt earlier this week.

“Kerry should go on Celebrity Rehab,” Sharon said of the troubled star. “I’m not being facetious, it’s important. Dr Drew does it in the States on MTV, they should do it on Channel Five. He’s a brilliant doctor with a huge success rate.”