With X Factor ratings continuing to decline at the weekend, bookies have slashed the odds on Simon Cowell returning to the show, with William Hill now offering a 5/1 shot he'll be back before the live final in December!
William Hill’s spokesman Joe Crilly said: “The X-Factor has really taken a ratings hit in recent weeks and while one week could possibly be passed off as an anomaly it has now become clear that something has to change and a return from Simon would certainly provide a much needed boost."
It was reported on Sunday that ITV were keen to get Simon Cowell back for the new series in 2012, after this year’s show lost nearly 2 million viewers from last year's series.
An insider said: "Imagine a zeppelin plummeting to Earth in flames, on a collision course with an ammunition dump. That’s this series of X Factor.”
The Sun also claimed 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.”
A source added today: "Simon not being there has hit ratings. Although ITV are happy with the panel, they realise there isn't anyone like Simon.
"He has a lot on his plate in America but he has not ruled out a return. The likelihood is that Louis will be gone next year and Simon could return."
Meanwhile JLS star Aston Merrygold also backed a return for the music mogul, saying: "Everyone wants Simon to come back and he should come back. He is Mr X Factor."