X Factor will not return in 2020 as Simon Cowell plans ‘rest’ for ITV show

By Keiran Southern, PA

The X Factor will not return later this year as Simon Cowell plans to “rest” the talent show for 12 months.

The programme has been an annual staple on ITV since 2004 but will not air in 2020.

Instead, there are plans to bring it back in 2021. It is part of Cowell’s plan to see if the format can be refreshed.

The X Factor has experienced a decline in viewing figures and recent spin-off shows X Factor: Celebrity and X Factor: The Band failed to stem the losses.

Simon Cowell plans to rest The X Factor while trying to find a way to revive the show’s popularity (Matt Crossick/PA)

A production source said: “Simon is planning to rest The X Factor this year. He and the producers want to take a breath to really think through the show and how to reinvigorate it for the future. And they don’t believe they can do that if they go straight into another cycle of the show this year.

“Although The X Factor is contracted for one more series, ITV totally understand the rationale behind the idea of resting it this year and want to give Simon and the team the time to do what they feel is right.”

In December, producers Thames and Cowell’s company Syco signed a new deal for Britain’s Got Talent for five years and The X Factor for one more series.

The X Factor was once one of the most popular shows on TV and helped launch the careers of chart-topping artists including One Direction, Little Mix, Olly Murs and Leona Lewis.

However, interest has waned and in November an average of 2.6 million viewers tuned in to ITV to watch former The Only Way Is Essex star Megan McKenna crowned the first winner of spin-off show X Factor: Celebrity.

A spokesman for Britain’s Got Talent and The X Factor said: “Plans for this autumn are still being finalised and will be announced in due course. We are currently filming Britain’s Got Talent 2020.”

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