"I think it was difficult for Ellen because the timing was horrific," he says in the interview, taped in California this week. "On her first day, and I hadn't thought about this, I announce I'm leaving. And she didn't know. And I think that put her into a very tricky situation."
Oprah: And who should replace him?
"A couple of weeks ago, I remember we were arguing . . . and I remember suddenly thinking at that point, 'I think it's too much about the judges at the moment and we've forgotten what the contestants are going through.' So to answer your question, I think primarily you've got to have somebody on that panel who actually knows what they're talking about."
His show, "X" - bowing in fall 2011, and similar to "Idol": "I need to make a show I'd like to watch." Kids? "I worry about that because of my age."