Speaking on Piers Morgan Tonight, Jones recalled: "Well, Simon had approached me about four years ago to work on a project which I couldn't do because I was under contract with a different channel.
"And he said, 'I'll come back with something'. And he came back about two years ago and said, 'How would you like to host American X Factor?' And I went, 'Yes. I will do that.' About two years ago. It was a long time ago.
"Obviously then I went through a process of meeting the right people at Fox and Freemantle, the production company."
The star admitted that Cowell's offer was only informal, adding: "It was a long, long road. It was getting a bit hairy towards the end, because I didn't actually secure the job until two days before we started filming."