Simon Cowell confirmed for X Factor return

The soon-to-be-dad will soon take back his seat on the UK's judging panel

Simon Cowell is coming home. Yes, the music mogul will be back in the UK to judge The X Factor in 2014, organisers have confirmed.

The rest of the panel for the hit talent competition's 11th series are yet to be announced, but Cowell, 54, has said he is "absolutely thrilled" to be returning.

“It’s been three years since I last judged the competition and I'm excited to find a global superstar again, he said in a statement.

Cowell honoured The X Factor's history of finding "worldwide superstars", namedropping pop band One Direction, “Bleeding Love” singer Leona Lewis, JLS, Little Mix, Olly Murs and, urm, Cher Lloyd.

The judge left the UK series in 2011 in an effort to boost ratings state-side for Fox. But his fellow US judge Cheryl Cole left the show after just days of filming, starting a downwards decline that left The X Factor struggling for an audience.

The US series fell far short of viewing figures achieved by rival shows The Voice and American Idol, as well as failing to unearth a winner with any longevity.

 

Now, the US show is to be toned down, while UK auditions start in June. Despite a recent drop in UK viewers, an average of 9.6 million watched Sam Bailey win last year’s contest, after the former prison guard beat Nicholas McDonald in the final.

Cowell, meanwhile, is preparing for first-time fatherhood, as his partner Lauren Silverman, 36, is due to give birth to his child next month.

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