ITV1 boss Peter Fincham today confirmed in an interview that Simon Cowell would not be a judge on The X Factor in 2011, adding that the team are looking at ways to "evolve" the show. The confirmation ends months of speculation focused around whether or not Cowell would make a weekly commute across the Atlantic to sit on the panel.
Instead of being on the panel this year, Cowell will stay mainly in the US to focus on the launch of the American version of the show this autumn. Peter Fincham told the Sunday Mirror: "Some of the speculation about us pleading with Simon to be a judge makes me smile. I constantly hear we are in crisis but in reality we have an amazingly constructive relationship with Simon and are very much reading from the same page."
Fincham confessed that he and the rest of the production crew had been aware Simon would not be as involved in this series for many months, explaining: “We have been in constant negotiations with Simon about ways in which we can move things forward and help the X Factor evolve. We have been aware that his on-screen involvement in this series will not be as great as previous years for months now. It is something that we are completely comfortable with."
The director of telly at channel admitted that they were still looking at ways to get Cowell on the screen during the show, but confirmed he would not be a main judge. “We are talking to him about ways he can have an on-screen presence later in the show," e he said. "He will not be a weekly judge, but he will be an enormous presence backstage as always.”
So that's at least one new judge for the show this year, and with Cheryl Cole also set to leave the ITV programme this summer we could see more new faces on the reality megahit!
Who do you want to see replace Simon Cowell?