Simon Cowell has once again hit out at unlikely X Factor favourites the Grimes twins.

John and Edward, who have built up a huge following on the back of their chaotic performances, have yet to face the judges’ vote – much to Cowell’s annoyance.

He said it would be a ‘disaster’ if the 18-year-old Irish duo – dubbed ‘Jedward’ by their legion of fans – win.

Speaking at a press conference to announce his patronage of the Children’s Hospices UK charity, he said it was impossible to predict the winner of this year’s competition – but that he knew who he did not want to win.

“I’m just praying it’s not John and Edward,” he said. “To be fair, we put them in a competition where it’s a public vote, and we have to live, unfortunately, with the public vote.

“If they win, it will be a complete and utter disaster. I’d probably sulk for about six months, and I’d probably get on a very fast plane out of the country.”

He said Louis Walsh would be ‘in trouble’ if the pair were to triumph.

“The fact is, it’s a singing competition, and they can’t sing,” he added. “I don’t dislike them as people. I just don’t think they are the act we were looking for.”

Meanwhile, the road next to the X Factor house which has been flooded with crowds of teenage fans hoping to catch sight of John and Edward is being shut off amid ‘safety fears’.

Barnet Council is closing the road for six days, to protect the young fans who have been waiting to see their idols.