They were once good friends, with music mogul Simon Cowell having previously given Take That’s Gary Barlow a job as a judge on Britain’s The X Factor. However, since giving Mr Barlow his marching orders to revamp the panel, it seems their friendship has soured somewhat.
Mr Cowell is understood to be in discussions with lawyers over concerns that Let It Shine, a show being planned by Mr Barlow, is very similar to The X Factor and could infringe his rights. Multi millionaire Mr Cowell has even told friends that he is prepared to launch legal action if necessary.
The music guru has a team of staff looking at Mr Barlow’s eight week series. Mr Barlow is searching for five male singers who will play the parts of Take That members in an upcoming West End musical set to be put together to tell the story of the bestselling band.
Let It Shine will go up against The Voice on ITV in what is being billed as a ratings battle. Mr Cowell will naturally be uneasy in case Mr Barlow, 45, wins the war for ratings. The music boss is said to have grown increasingly concerned about the format of Mr Barlow’s programme since finding out that, like his X Factor, it will include auditions which will be judged by a panel before candidates are put through to a “bootcamp” stage and then live finals.
Mr Barlow will be joined on the judging panel by Dannii Minogue, who has been a judge on both the British and Australian versions of the X Factor, and by the former Spandau Ballet star Martin Kemp. According to sources, Mr Cowell has been angered by Ms Minogue’s move as he considered her to be part of his X Factor Family. It is also understood that Mr Barlow tried to get current X Factor judge Nicole Scherzinger to jump ship, but Mr Cowell offered her an enhanced deal which pesuaded her to stay put.