Gary Barlow almost didn't join The X Factor - because he wanted to find an 'Olympic singer'

Gary Barlow

Take That star Gary Barlow almost became The X Factor judge that never was, after it was revealed the man band singer almost didn't agree to take part in the show. According to The Sun today, 40-year-old Gary was hoping to instead to find an 'Olympic singer' in a rival reality series.

The show was reportedly aiming to find a star to sing at the Games opening ceremony in London next year, but never got past the initial planning stages after it was vetoed by Olympics chiefs.

The series, which would've been screened on the BBC, would’ve followed a similar format to The X Factor with auditions and live shows before one winner was chosen to perform to billions across the world.

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An insider blabbed: "Gary really wanted to do a show on the BBC as he believes in its public service mission. He loved the idea of finding an amazing unknown singer to appear at the opening ceremony in 2012.

"But Olympics chiefs made it known they wanted big name acts to perform instead and the show had to be pulled. It was only then that Gary turned to The X Factor and became the new Simon Cowell."

Although it seems to be a decision for the better, with the shambles of Olympic ticketing putting people off the games whilst Gary is getting a great reception at The X Factor auditions.

He told the newspaper: "I'm here to find the next generation of stars. There are so many youngsters out there with talent who need a platform like The X Factor to be noticed."

The X Factor 2011 auditions continue tomorrow in Manchester.

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