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ITV drops The X Factor after 17 years

ITV drops The X Factor after 17 years
© ITV
Simon Cowell's The X Factor will not be returning in the near future, ITV confirms.

ITV has confirmed that it has no plans to bring back The X Factor for a new series.

The show has been a staple of the broadcaster's autumn schedule for the best part of the last two decades, making stars of the likes of Little Mix, One Direction and Leona Lewis.

Amid falling ratings, creator and head judge Simon Cowell attempted to refresh the format in 2019 with two spinoff shows, The X Factor: Celebrity and The X Factor: The Band, to a muted reception.

ITV then opted to rest the show for 2020 but has now confirmed that there are "no current plans" for it to return at all.

A source told The Sun: "Globally, it is still a phenomenon and rakes in millions every year. But in the UK, there is no question it has become slightly stale.

"Simon remains at the top of his game and knows how to make a hit. He owns the rights to the show, and it's his call - not ITV's - whether or not he drops it.

"Clearly the last thing he wants is for X Factor to fizzle out with a whimper and become a bit of a joke - especially in contrast to the show in its pomp.

"It is still on the back-burner and there's the option to return it in 2023, with auditions next summer."

In lieu of The X Factor, Cowell is launching a new singing gameshow, Walk The Line, on ITV this autumn.

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