Simon Cowell has criticised Depeche Mode musician Martin Gore after the pop star joked that the X Factor boss should be shot for what he has done to the music industry.

Cowell, 53, vented his fury and branded Gore a "weirdo".

In a magazine interview, guitarist Gore reportedly said: "I'm not advocating violence but I think somebody should shoot Simon Cowell.

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"His influence on the industry over the last God knows how many years ... It's just like, so many people think that's what music is. What happened to bands getting together?"

Cowell tweeted: "I read Martin Gore wants to shoot me. He was in Depeche Mode. Do you realise how weird and stupid that makes you? Watch the news.

"Why I am angry about weirdo Gore is a ton of people have got shot this year and people like weirdo Gore encourage this."

Cowell has previously spoken of getting death threats and having to beef up security at his Los Angeles mansion.