Kate Thornton felt "humiliated" after Simon Cowell suddenly sacked her from ‘The X Factor’.
The 47-year-old television presenter – who fronted the ITV singing competition in 2004 to 2006 – was shocked to find her contract had not been renewed by the 60-year-old music mogul, as Kate claims she was told she would be kept on.
Speaking on the ‘In The Pink’ podcast, she said: "They didn’t renew my contract having said that they would – and by they, I mean Simon.
"It was on ‘News at Ten’. It was embarrassing, it was humiliating and it kind of burnt for a bit."
Following the news, she was approached by people on the streets to talk to her about her career, adding to her humiliation.
She explained: "People were lovely but it was all anyone ever talked to me about.
"I’d go to Sainsbury’s and people would ask me if I was OK. After a while it’s so diminishing."
Kate presented the show for the first three series before being replaced by Dermot O’Leary.
After being axed, she developed a thick skin despite being "burnt" by a close friend.
She said: "It hurt more that someone I considered to be a friend hadn’t been up front with me.
"It’s tough and you develop the skin of a bloody rhino and I’m only grateful it happened in a time pre-social media otherwise I’m sure it would have hurt a lot more now. That would’ve really hurt."