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X Factor axed as Simon Cowell pulls plug on ITV talent show

The X Factor is to be axed after 17 years with creator Simon Cowell deciding to pull the plug on the ITV talent show.

At the peak of its popularity the Saturday night show would secure around 10 million viewers but a sharp decline in viewers has led to Cowell pulling the plug.

It was revealed in February last year that there would not be a 2020 series with Cowell focussed on a new ITV musical game show called Walk The Line.

A show insider revealed the 61-year-old mogul decided to pull X Factor himself rather than let it become a “bit of a joke”.

The show insider told The Sun: “Globally, it is still a phenomenon and rakes in millions every year. But in the UK, there is no question it has become slightly stale.

“Simon remains at the top of his game and knows how to make a hit. He owns the rights to the show, and it’s his call — not ITV’s — whether or not he drops it.

“Clearly the last thing he wants is for X Factor to fizzle out with a whimper and become a bit of a joke — especially in contrast to the show in its pomp.”

Barry And District News: Simon Cowell will be working on a new show called Walk The Line. (PA)Simon Cowell will be working on a new show called Walk The Line. (PA)

An ITV spokesperson said: “There are no current plans for the next series of The X Factor at this stage.”

X Factor would see amateur singers from across the UK audition and compete for a recording contract.

If contestants were lucky enough to progress to the live shows they would be mentored by a celebrity judge including Sharon Osbourne, Louis Walsh, Nicole Scherzinger and Robbie Williams in more recent years.

Dalton Harris was the last winner of the show when he secured a recording contract when the show was last aired in 2018.

The first series of the show was in 2004 when Steve Brookstein was crowned winner.

The show is responsible for creating some of the world’s biggest stars including Little Mix, One Direction, Olly Murs and Leona Lewis.

At the shows peak, winners of the show were almost guaranteed a Christmas Number One

The show’s creator, Simon Cowell, will instead focus his energy on his brand new gameshow Walk The Line.

Described as a “musical version of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire” the series is expected to fill a Saturday night slot for ITV.

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