Abdul: Cowell and I are like a married couple

Paul Abdul has spoken candidly on US television about her close, if not always harmonious, relationship with X Factor mogul Simon Cowell.

The former singer and choreographer has described the pair, who famously fell out while working on American Idol together, as being 'like an old married couple - without the sex.'

Abdul was on the Today show in New York this week promoting the US version of the X Factor which starts tonight in the States and was asked why she had decided to reunite with Cowell after quitting American Idol two years ago.

'Maybe because I'm a glutton for punishment? Or maybe it's because we've established quite an amazing friendship,' the 49-year replied.

'We're like an old married couple without the sex - by choice! We get along so well. It took ten years to understand each other.'

Abdul continued: 'I've always known I'm a strong woman but he's really taught me some inner strength. He always provoked me and challenged me and the more I stood up for myself and the more I stood up to him the more he embraced me.'

Cowell and Abdul are joined by Nicole Scherzinger and L.A. Reid on the US X Factor judging panel while Brit-import Steve Jones will be doing his best Dermot O'Leary impression as host.

While the show will follow the same format as its UK counterpart the grand prize is on another level with the winner set to receive $5 million as well as a recording contract.

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