After another weekend of disappointing ratings for The X Factor, show bosses have been 'begging' Simon Cowell to return and save the show. Viewers dipped again on Saturday night, and it saw rival show Strictly Come Dancing overtake the reality telly juggernaut for the first time in four years.
And the blame is being put on the new judges, Kelly Rowland, Tulisa and Gary Barlow.
"The basic fact is that viewers miss Simon Cowell," a source said today. "The whole atmosphere that builds up on the show to the judges' verdicts on the acts is gone."
But with Simon busy with the US X Factor, it doesn't sound as though we'll be seeing his return any time soon.
Speaking to The Sun, the insider added: "Unfortunately no matter how much he would like to, he can't be in two places at once and he is committed to the American show at the moment.
"But bosses are desperate for him to be involved somehow, even if it means a video-link from Los Angeles. There have been midnight calls to him to try and persuade him.
"What they are looking for is a way to get him back on the show. He is The X Factor after all and he has the X Factor and that is the factor that is missing."
The X Factor took another blow yesterday as two top singers found themselves in the bottom two.
Favourite Misha B and Sophie Habibis both received the fewest votes, with judges sending home Sophie in a tense and shocking sing off result.
But it now means the already lacklustre talent on the show has been diluted even more.