Gary Barlow is mentoring the boys on The X Factor and has sought Robbie Williams' advice

Robbie Williams and Gary Barlow have criticised Simon Cowell and the former X Factor panel for not looking after their contestants.

New head judge Gary has invited Robbie to be his fellow mentor during the judges' houses stage of the show - where they will decide which contestants to put through from the boys' category - and the Take That duo aim to give better guidance than Simon and co.

Previously judges maybe gave the acts half an hour if they were lucky,' says Robbie, 37.

The ones that are going to make it need help, need a guiding arm put around them.

I love the X Factor. I love the spectacle and being entertained but they haven't got the music right.'

I think you are going to see for the first time real mentoring going on, with time being put into these kids,' adds Gary, 40.

While they've had their disagreements in the past, Gary admits that Robbie - who he has been staying with in LA while choosing the successful contestants - was an obvious choice as a co-mentor.

I knew he loved the show. He has done since day one,' Gary tells The Sun.

When we were on tour I said, "I need someone for the judges' houses. What do you reckon?"

I was thinking he wouldn't be too into it. But he was like, "Please let me".

It's bloody brilliant.'

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Anna Francis