Will Young has described a moment he stood up to Simon Cowell during his time on Pop Idol 20 years ago, as a "defining moment" of his career.
The 2002 series, in which Young triumphed over rival Gareth Gates and launched a music career, is widely credited with reinventing the format that has dominated TV schedules since.
Young said standing up to Simon Cowell on the show, where the music mogul was a judge, is a moment he is very proud of.
The show saw Cowell describe one of Young's performances as "distinctly average" before the budding performer, then in his early 20s, hit back.
He accused Cowell of only "projecting insults" and added: "I don't think you could ever call that average. But it is your opinion and I respect that."
Young told PA: "I have to remind myself how young I was and how powerful he was - and I stood up for myself and for others. And I am very proud of that. It was kind of my defining moment really."
Young, who is preparing to embark on a new tour, also spoke about The X Factor and said he is surprised it has not had its "comeuppance" over how it treated contestants.
His comments come after ITV announced in July that it was resting The X Factor for at least five years following falling ratings.
"It just makes me really sad and actually quite angry," he said.
"I feel a bit unsure as to why a show like X Factor hasn't had its comeuppance in terms of how it has treated people. And I am surprised.
"There is obviously stuff going on in the background, but hopefully one day it will come out. I wish it was my story to tell but it's not, unfortunately."