The X Factor and Britain's Got Talent can "run and run and run", says ITV boss

Kevin Lygo's comments come amid renewal talks Simon Cowell's hit shows

X Factor 2016 judges

It doesn't look like The X Factor or Britain's Got Talent will be leaving our screens any time soon - as ITV's programming boss has said the shows can "run and run and run".

Simon Cowell's current deal with the broadcaster for his top talent shows runs is about to run out, but they are said to be on the verge of announcing a three-year extension.

And Kevin Lygo, who became ITV's director of television earlier this year, has dropped a hint that the reports are true - saying he's not the man that will axe the show.

Speaking publicly at the Edinburgh Television Festival last week, he said: "No I’m not that man. X Factor is still a wonderful show, it’s an enormous hit.

"It’s really been proven that these shows can run and run and run. Most of the high rating shows on all networks have been around a very long time."

Joking about press criticism over the show's ratings, he added: "It’s a show that gets eight, nine million viewers, it’s fine thank you very much, I wish I had more problems like The X Factor."

Simon will no doubt be relieved, as Kevin has form for canning TV juggernauts. During his spell as a chief at Channel 4, he famously swung the axe on Big Brother.

Despite this, he added that top entertainment shows "come along so seldom that it’s important that we keep them alive and at a high level".

Kevin's comments came before the launch of the latest series of The X Factor at the weekend - which has suffered yet another drop in ratings.

Saturday's episode was watched by 6.8million viewers, down 800,000 year-on-year - while Sunday's episode had 6.3million viewers. However, these numbers are likely to rise considerably when catch-up viewing is added.

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