X Factor UK: Simon Cowell 'to return as a judge in 2012'

Simon Cowell

Simon Cowell could be making a return to The X Factor - but not until 2012. According to The Sun, ITV1 bosses want to the music mogul to return for the ninth series of the show next year.

In 2010 ITV signed a new three year deal for the show, meaning it'll continue to air until 2013.

The newspaper claims that Simon Cowell has "held several conference calls with ITV1" and that bosses at the channel have told him "they expect him back next year to save the format."

It comes after viewing figures for the second live show dived by 2 million viewers, causing crisis talks to be held by show bosses.

An insider added to the tabloid: "Imagine a zeppelin plummeting to Earth in flames, on a collision course with an ammunition dump. That's this series of X Factor."

ITV however were keen to downplay speculation about next year's show, saying: "This is the second-best performing series ever."

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