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Simon Cowell says The X Factor will ‘more likely than not’ return in 2024

Talent show discovered stars like Harry Styles, Leona Lewis and Little Mix

Furvah Shah
Tuesday 01 November 2022 10:17 GMT
Simon Cowell on The X Factor

Simon Cowell has said that The X Factor will “more likely than not” return to screens in 2024.

The record executive, best known for judging The X Factor and Britain’s Got Talent, said he is often asked when the talent contest will return and will only bring it back if he could “go back to where the show started”.

The X Factor first aired in 2004 and catapulted artists such as One Direction, Little Mix and Leona Lewis to stardom, before concluding in 2018.

In an interview with The Sun, Cowell said: “The funny thing is that when young people approach me on the street, all they want to know is when X Factor is coming back.

“They all watch it on YouTube. When we stopped the show, I genuinely thought there was no need for it — that everyone would be signed from YouTube.”

“But there are so many people wanting to be signed that we could use that extra platform,” he continued.

He added that he would want to do things differently if the series did return to screens.

“I would only do it again if we could go back to where the show started — if we could find some great people and create those TV moments that live forever,” he said.

“There would have to be a genuine opportunity to make it how it was in the early years, and I would only do it with someone who was genuinely enthusiastic about it.

“I would also bring back the managers and the [artists and repertoire] people instead of having artists judge the talent because I don’t think that’s great.”

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The return of The X Factor could raise eyebrows with the original series being criticised for being “exploitative” and “cruel”, and former contestants Jedward, Cher Lloyd and Rebecca Ferguson all speaking out against their alleged mistreatment on and after the show.

During its 14 years on screen, The X Factor was judged by Louis Walsh, Sharon Osbourne, Cheryl Cole, Danii Minogue, Nicole Scherzinger and Rita Ora.

Cowell added that US networks are also urging him to bring back the US version of the show, which aired between 2011 and 2013.

The US version was judged by Britney Spears, Paula Abdul, Kelly Rowland and Demi Lovato, and created girlband Fifth Harmony.

One Direction members Liam Payne, Louis Tomlinson, Zayn Malik, Harry Styles and Niall Horan first found fame as X Factor contestants (Dominic Lipinski/PA) (PA Archive)

But, despite wanting The X Factor to return, there is also a possibility Cowell “won’t appear on screen again”, he said.

“I’m not desperate to be on TV. I would only do it if there was a purpose to it. So yes, those shows aside, it’s possible I won’t appear on screen again.

“If X Factor doesn’t come back, I won’t be looking for other shows to appear on. I don’t want to be just a TV personality.”

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