A member of legendary pop band Duran Duran has called Simon Cowell a joke and accused him of helping to ruin the British music industry.

Guitarist Andy Taylor said 'Pop Idol's Mr Nasty knew nothing about nurturing talent.

If the world thinks Simon Cowell and Nicky Chapman are representative ofpeople in the music industry, they are wrong, he said of the 'Pop Idol' judges.

Taylor said Gareth Gates could have been the next George Michael if the right people had looked after his career.

Duran Duran are currently supporting Robbie Williams on his Australian tour.