Simon Cowell cancels The X Factor after 17 years

29 July 2021, 07:58 | Updated: 29 July 2021, 09:01

After almost two decades on our screens, The X Factor has been pulled from ITV schedules.

The X Factor has been dropped after 17 years, with Simon Cowell axing the talent show.

The series started all the way back in 2004, with Louis Walsh and Sharon Osborne joining Simon as judges.

But after it last aired in 2018, The Sun has claimed it won’t be on our screens for at least five years.

Simon Cowell has axed The X Factor
Simon Cowell has axed The X Factor. Picture: Alamy

A source told the publication: “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.

“Simon remains at the top of his game and knows how to make a hit. He owns the rights to the show, and it’s his call — not ITV’s — whether or not he drops it.

“Clearly the last thing he wants is for X Factor to fizzle out with a whimper and become a bit of a joke — especially in contrast to the show in its pomp.

“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.”

A spokesperson for ITV told Heart.co.uk: "There are no current plans for the next series of The X Factor at this stage."

At the height of its popularity, The X Factor pulled in more than 14 million viewers, but this has slowly declined over the past few years.

Former presenter Dermot O'Leary previously admitted he didn’t know whether it was right to bring the show back after it was ‘rested’ in 2019.

Little Mix shot to fame on The X Factor
Little Mix shot to fame on The X Factor. Picture: Alamy

He told the Radio Times: "I'm in two minds, because half of me thinks there's a reason why we rested it, because we were doing the same thing but then again, there is a real sense of simplicity to that show I love, which is great singers and great characters,"

"It's a celebration of British eccentricity! Let's just get them out there and see where we end up."

Meanwhile, Simon is said to now be focusing on a new game show called Walk The Line.

This features a variety of solo or musical groups competing for money and prizes from a panel of musical experts.