Kym Marsh has said that Nigel Lythgoe’s comment about her weight on television affected her because she had previously battled an eating disorder.
Marsh was a contestant on talent show Popstars in 2001 when judge Lythgoe told her on camera “Christmas may be gone but I see the goose is still fat”, before telling her to lose weight.
Marsh, who won a place in pop group Hear’Say and went on to have a career as an actress in Coronation Street, said that his words hit her hard and left her with insecurities for years.
The singer and actress, 42, told Fabulous magazine: “It did affect me. Of course it did.
“I’d already had a little bit of an eating disorder when I was younger. He saw a weakness and picked on it.”
Last year, Lythgoe told the Press Association that Marsh had “made an absolute mint on slimming down”, and that it helped her career.
Marsh told the magazine: “What he fails to tell anybody is the dressing down I gave him afterwards, which never aired. I told him what I thought about him and said: ‘Are you gonna actually show that on television? You humiliated me!’
“And he said they were only trying to make a TV show. I told him I didn’t give a shit about his TV show.
“The next day he came round and apologised in the middle of the night. He obviously wasn’t sorry enough for them to take it out of the show, though. They knew it was going to make headlines.”
Marsh, who will soon depart Coronation Street after playing Michelle Connor for 13 years, said that her current physique should not be attributed to Lythgoe’s words.
She said: “I’m definitely in better nick than I was when I was in Popstars, but that’s not because of what Nigel said. Despite him taking credit!”
Marsh, who has three children and has just become a grandmother after her daughter Emilie gave birth to a son this week, added: “I’m never going to look at myself and go: ‘Perfect!’ There’s always room for improvement, but I’m happy with who I am.
“I used to hate my stretch marks, but I actually love them now. They’re my tiger stripes.”