Gary Barlow apparently plans to quit The X Factor UK before Simon Cowell has a chance to axe him.
It was reported yesterday that Simon had already lined up a replacement for Gary, blaming the Take That star for this year's fall in ratings.
“Cowell doesn’t think that he knows enough about who to choose from the auditions. The one thing he did after the 2010 show was to create One Direction, who are now the biggest pop group in the world,” an insider told The Times newspaper.
But insiders told the Daily Star Sunday that Gary wants out of the show just as much as Simon wants him off the panel.
It seems that everyone will be happy, with a source saying: "Gary has enjoyed his two years on the show but privately he’s made it clear he won’t be returning for a third series.
“He’s concerned by the falling ratings and is worried he’s losing his integrity on the show.
“He wants to get back to basics and concentrate on what he loves doing, which is making music."
The source added to the tabloid: “Gary also feels drained by how intensive and all-consuming the show is.
“He knows next year will be a big year for Take That and also him personally and he wants to free time to balance his career and his family life.
“Something has to give and that thing will be X Factor.”
The source added: “He and Simon basically don’t speak any more so he wants to leave on his terms.”
Gary revealed yesterday he hasn't spoken to Simon since February, explaining how he only speaks with bosses at ITV.
He said: “I don’t talk to Simon, I talk to ITV. I don’t hear from Simon. I met him in February to talk about the next series, but that’s it.
“It was the same as last year – once we go on telly I don’t hear anything. I don’t need to speak to anyone during the series. I know what my job is, and what I need to do."
The X Factor UK returns next year, with open auditions for the 2013 series starting in the Spring.
Browse pictures of The X Factor 2012 final below...