Sting has hit out at The X Factor calling it ‘appalling’ and claiming that the contestants are ‘going nowhere’.

The singer told The Evening Standard that he feels sorry for former hopefuls such as Rachel Adedeji and Lucie Jones and the ‘humiliation’ that they faced when they were ditched from the show.

Sting said: “I am sorry, but none of those kids are going to go anywhere, and I say that sadly. They are humiliated when they get sent off. How appalling for a young person to feel that rejection.

“It is a soap opera which has nothing to do with music. In fact, it has put music back decades. Television is very cynical.

“I tried to keep an open mind, but basically I was looking at televised karaoke where they conform to stereotypes. They are either Mariah Carey or Whitney Houston or Boyzone and are not encouraged to create any real unique signature or fingerprint. That cannot come from TV.

“The X Factor is a preposterous show and you have judges who have no recognisable talent apart from self-promotion, advising them what to wear and how to look. It is appalling.”