Gary Barlow is to takeover from Simon Cowell on ITV’s upcoming musical game show Walk The Line.
Simon will continue to produce the show but has stepped down from his previously announced on screen role.
Simon said: “This is a situation where I have decided it is right for me to focus on my role as the Creator and Producer as we build up to the hugely exciting launch.
“Gary’s musical pedigree is second to none – and we have known each other a long time now – so I am delighted he is picking up the baton for me for the first series of Walk The Line. I know he will do a fantastic job.”
Gary added: “When Simon calls it’s usually with something fairly extraordinary.
“I’m so excited to be involved in a brand new TV show, and of course my favourite part of Walk the Line is discovering new talent.”
Meanwhile ITV said: “We are delighted that Gary has decided to join the Walk The Line family, and we understand and support Simon’s decision to focus on his role as producer and creator for this debut series.
“Gary will bring his musical expertise as one of the world’s leading singer songwriters to the show, which promises to uncover some brilliant new talent and offer the unique chance to win a life-changing prize.
The news was first reported by The Sun newspaper who claim the change comes after Simon decided to “scale back” his TV appearances in order to spend more time with his family.
Walk The Line is due to air on ITV later this year, hosted by Maya Jama.
Alongside Gary, musician Craig David and popstar Mabel are rumoured to make up a panel of judges.
Gary was previously a judge on The X Factor from 2011 to 2013 and in 2017 led the panel of BBC One’s musical talent show Let It Shine.
Walk The Line is described as a high octane series offering music acts a chance to win a life changing prize pot of £500,000.
The acts – from soloists and duos to bands and choirs – will take to the stage to perform for the nation, as well as a panel of judges.
But to win the money, talent alone isn’t enough – the contestants will need nerves of steel as they determine whether to cash out or physically Walk The Line and risk it all to stay in the competition.
Walk The Line is currently scheduled to air on ITV and ITV Hub later this year.