Why Simon Cowell decided to give The X Factor a Celebrity revamp

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Simon Cowell has explained just why he decided to launch The X Factor: Celebrity.

Starting this Saturday night, The X Factor will return for 2019 with a brand new twist.

This year, well-known faces with dreams of becoming superstar singers will be fighting for the chance to be crowned The X Factor 2019 Champion in The X Factor: Celebrity.

Speaking ahead of the first episode, Simon said: "It just felt so obvious to do a celebrity version. The only condition was I couldn’t know who was going to be on it.

"I said to the team, 'You’ve got to find some acts who you believe can sell records off the back of this, because if you don’t do that it won’t work.' So that was the deal and we stuck to it. I swear to God I didn’t have a clue who any of the acts were.

"I did walk away thinking, 'If we’re smart, we have artists here who could actually sell records off the back of this'. So I thought that was fun and very exciting for the show."

Simon continued: "I think change in any aspect is good, but I was saying to someone the other day, 'I’ve signed Westlife, I’ve signed Five, El Divo, One Direction, Little Mix. They’re all groups, but they’re all different.'

"Sometimes you’ve got to take a break of at least a year, two years between signing one kind of group and then launching another. And it’s the same with The X Factor.

"You can’t just keep making the same show that it was 14 years ago and expect it to be the same show today. You’ve got to take a step back for a little while."

Alongside The X Factor: Celebrity, this year will also see a special All Stars spin-off to air later in 2019.

Although exact details have yet to be confirmed, Simon teased: "I’ve wanted to make the best of the best version of The X Factor for a long, long time. It’s been brilliant. I’ve loved every minute."

The X Factor: Celebrity begins this Saturday 12th October 8:35pm on ITV.

You'll be able to watch episodes and catch up online via ITV Hub.

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