TV executive Nigel Lythgoe, the creator of Pop Idol, has suffered a heart attack in the US, it has emerged.
Lythgoe, who was dubbed Nasty Nigel for his role as a ruthless judge on Popstars, was in Los Angeles when he fell ill.
No more details were initially available about his condition or where he was being treated.
Lythgoe shot to fame in the UK on TV talent search Popstars where his blunt comments reduced many would-be stars to tears.
He went on to create Pop Idol and was co-executive producer of the hugely popular US spin off, American Idol: the Search for a Superstar.
A Granada spokeswoman said: “All his colleagues at Granada are wishing him well and hoping he has a speedy recovery.
“He is a great producer and hopefully he will be back on his feet and producing great programmes again soon.”
Lythgoe worked at Granada on the hugely successful first Popstars series. He now works for the production company 19.