‘It was a bit of a machine’: Simon Cowell reveals how he wants to improve The X Factor

Simon Cowell has given some insight into the possible future of The X Factor.

The music executive created the long-running talent competition in 2004 and sat as a judge and mentor for 12 of its 15 seasons.

However, the show went on an indefinite hiatus after its 2018 season, and was cancelled officially in 2021.

Despite this, fans of The X Factor have been holding out hope for its eventual return.

Cowell appeared on Wednesday’s edition (14 December) of This Morning alongside former contestant Lucy Spraggan, and spoke about the programme’s enduring popularity.

“People keep asking me about the show – ‘are you going to bring it back?’” he began, before pointing out the prevalence of new music in the age of social media and streaming. “100,000 new songs are uploaded every day at the moment.

“It’s good but it’s also difficult. I believe you’ve got to get to know somebody.”

Cowell then shared the ways that he’d considered adjusting the show if it were to return. He explained: “We have talked about that, ‘what would you do differently today?’ There’s a lot I’ve learnt, to be honest with you.

“I think it started to become a bit of a machine. You put a record out that year, and then you move on. That’s not the way to do it.

“And also, when you throw someone into the limelight, it’s hard, you know?”

Simon Cowell on This Morning (ITV)
Simon Cowell on This Morning (ITV)

In recent years, former contestants such as Rebecca Ferguson have been vocal about their difficulties during and after the programme.

Later in the segment, presenter Dermot O’Leary – who hosted The X Factor from season four until its end, excluding season 12 – suggested that a new version of the show would have to take more of a modern spin.

“If the show did come back, it would reflect where music is now, with the likes of streamers and Spotify,” he offered.

In response, Cowell said: “However, the principle is the same – you’ve got to get to know someone. It’s great that you’re on social media, but I think the idea of this being a second platform is still really important.”

When asked by This Morning co-host Alison Hammond whether the show would definitely return, however, Cowell remained elusive and simply offered the phrase: “To be continued.”