Simon Cowell's spokesperson Max Clifford has said that the music mogul "definitely wanted to keep" Dannii Minogue on The X Factor this year, however was simply unable to make the dates work. Dannii announced she was leaving the show on Saturday night, and since there has been much speculation over whether she really quit or was pushed.
Speaking on This Morning yesterday, Max Clifford said: "[Simon] definitely wanted to keep [Dannii] in because she was very popular and has worked very well. But in the last few months, because of the American X Factor, this X Factor has had an awful lot of juggling going on and it's a question of getting the best possible combination.
"Don't forget it's the most popular show on television and the fact that when you're changing judges it makes front page and national newspapers, gives you some idea of how popular it is."
Asked about the reaction from viewers as three of the four judges leave the show in one year, Clifford explained: "I do think that Simon took that on board but I think it was a question of trying to get the combination where he could get all of the people at the same time.
"I think it was more of a question of [Minogue] going backwards and forwards to Australia doing 25 hours all the time when you've got a baby. So I do think that would've had a big impact on her."
However the PR guru argued the move could be good for the show, adding: "A lot of critics are saying that the show won't be as popular and it won't work but they also said that when Sharon Osbourne went and Cheryl came in. They said that was a ridiculous choice."
Auditions for The X Factor 2011 start on June 1 in Birmingham.