Cowell says Beatles quip was just that; he's a fan

LOS ANGELES (AP) - September 11, 2009 Cowell says that he really was joking when he claimed the legendary group wouldn't have made the cut on "American Idol" or "Britain's Got Talent."

After drawing fire for the remark, the producer and TV talent-show judge said Friday he's repeatedly referred to the Beatles as the group he wished he could have signed.

Cowell was on CBS' "The Early Show" Wednesday when he was asked how the Beatles would have done as contestants. He replied that he would have taken the group - minus drummer Ringo Starr.

John Lennon's 1966 remark that the Beatles were more popular than Christ provoked angry protests by some in America.

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