Simon Cowell replaced by Gary Barlow on new talent show Walk the Line

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·2-min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
Simon Cowell credit:Bang Showbiz
Simon Cowell credit:Bang Showbiz

Simon Cowell has been replaced by Gary Barlow as a judge on 'Walk the Line'.

The 62-year-old music mogul has decided to scale back his schedule to spend more time with his partner Lauren Silverman and their seven-year-old son Eric, and is keen to focus on his behind-the-scenes commitments as executive producer and creator of the new show, so the Take That frontman is stepping in to helm the judging panel instead.

Simon said: “This is a situation where I have decided it is right for me to focus on my role as the Creator and Producer as we build up to the hugely exciting launch.

“Gary’s musical pedigree is second to none – and we have known each other a long time now - so I am delighted he is picking up the baton for me for the first series of 'Walk The Line'. I know he will do a fantastic job.”

Insiders explained Simon - who broke his back in an electric bike accident last year - doesn't want the added attention of being on screen during a hectic time in his life.

A source told The Sun newspaper: “Everyone at ITV and within Camp Cowell is massively excited about this new project.

“It has all the ingredients to be a huge hit. As you can imagine, workaholic Simon has been massively involved from the word ‘go’.

“But given all the upheavals of the past year or so, what with lockdown and his health, he’s decided now is not the time to be front of camera.

“He’s just finished an exceptionally busy period filming which saw him spending an extended period of time away from home, so he also wants to devote more time to his family in the coming weeks.

“Clearly Simon has nothing to prove and doesn’t seek celebrity status; even after a quieter couple of years by his standards, he still gets recognised everywhere he goes.

“So the last thing he needs is for all that to be ramped-up again once this show runs on primetime telly.

“Just as he did in 2006 for the inaugural 'AGT' launch, Simon wants help steer the ship from behind the scenes so he can ensure the series runs to his exacting demands.”

Gary - who was a judge on 'The X Factor' between 2011 and 2013 - is "so excited" about his new job.

He said in a statement: "When Simon calls it’s usually with something fairly extraordinary.

“I’m so excited to be involved in a brand new TV show, and of course my favourite part of 'Walk the Line' is discovering new talent.”

The "high octane musical gameshow" will see contestants win up to £500,000 and will be hosted by Maya Jama. Both Craig David and Mabel are rumoured to be joining Gary on the judging panel.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting