The X Factor ‘axed’ after 17 years as Simon Cowell ‘focuses on new show’


The X Factor may never return to TV in the UK, it’s been reported.

The X Factor last aired in 2019 with two special series – a Celebrity version and ‘battle of the bands’ spin-off.

The show has been rested since, with Simon Cowell saying last year: “I thought, since it is 2020, a new decade, we have to rest it for a year.

“We have to come back with a show that is relevant, different, a show that takes into account all the different things kids are watching and being influenced by.”

Now a new report by The Sun newspaper claims that the show is “unlikely” to return to UK TV screens.

The tabloid says that Simon will instead be focusing on his new show Walk The Line, which is set to debut on ITV this autumn.

A source shared: “Globally, it is still a phenomenon and rakes in millions every year. But in the UK, there is no question it has become slightly stale.”

They added: “It is still on the back-burner and there’s the option to return it in 2023, with auditions next summer, but a lot will ride on his new format Walk The Line.”

An ITV spokesperson commented: “There are no current plans for the next series of The X Factor at this stage.”

Walk The Line was announced earlier this year, described as a passion project for Simon for many years.

Set to debut this autumn, the format will see musical acts – soloists, duos, bands, or choirs – perform for viewers and a judging panel headed up by Simon.

A previously released teaser explains: “The top two performers of the evening then face a nail-biting decision in their bid to be crowned champion – to either ‘cash out’ with a tempting cash prize, or walk the line and play on. Should they stay in and top the leaderboard, they will then progress to the next show, facing a different cast of performers.

“The longer the performers can stay in the contest, the bigger the prize pot, with a high stake ‘stay or play’ moment at the end of each show. Each night, the reigning champion will be offered an even higher cash out prize – will they take the money and leave the competition, or Walk The Line and bet on themselves…?”

Simon said of the show: “I’m very excited at giving musical talent the opportunity to transform their lives like never before.”

However the music mogul has teased a return of The X Factor one day, telling the Mirror: “Everything is about timing. You have got to know sometimes when to call it a day and then also when to bring it back.

“I just felt it needed a break; it was nothing more than that. You can always make new music shows, which we are. And then when the time is right we will bring it back with ­someone else. That was always the plan. It was not anything dramatic.”