London: Simon Cowell has apologised to Britain’s Got Talent viewers over the Jules O’Dwyer and Matisse furore.

Jules O’Dwyer and Matisse the performing dog walked away with £250,000 and a chance to perform at the Royal Variety Performance on Sunday night. But the following day it was revealed that another dog, Chase, carried out the acts riskiest sequence, walking along a tightrope. It’s led to hundreds of complaints being filed with Ofcom and rants on social media from angry fans, and now show creator Simon has taken his share of the blame. ‘The producers are absolutely gutted. I was so depressed yesterday for the show, for Jules and for the producers themselves, because they are not horrible people. They made a stupid mistake on a live show,’ he told British newspaper The Mirror. ‘They didn’t think about how it would appear. I was frustrated because I didn’t really know what I was judging until afterwards so I felt like a bit of an idiot.–BFT

I’m connected with the show, so if a contestant leaves feeling unhappy I have to take some responsibility.’

Simon insists it was more of a ‘c**k up’ than a conspiracy and for this reason he doesn’t feel the public phone votes should be refunded as he believes Jules and Matisse would have won even if viewers had known about Chase. But the 55-year-old made sure the people involved in the oversight took ownership of their mistake.

‘The moment I found out I literally put my head in my hands. I spoke to a lot of people after, and I did raise my voice,’ he added. ‘But it was mainly people owning up to it. They felt embarrassed, they felt frustrated, they felt stupid, but you’ve got to man up to this stuff.’

He also spent an hour on the phone with Jules, apologising for the media storm that had been created because of the show. ‘I feel that I let her down and that the show let her down,’ he said. ‘She shouldn’t have to be in this position because she didn’t do anything wrong. But I hopefully reassured her she should put on very good show for the queen.’