Simon Cowell’s X Factor UK axed after 17 years - why ITV talent show is being cancelled

The show has launched the careers of major music starts including One Direction and Little Mix

ITV has said there are “no current plans” for another series of The X Factor following reports that its creator Simon Cowell has axed the programme after 17 years.

The primetime TV show has excited viewers with talented newcomers since the show aired in 2004 but now new plans from Cowell are on the horizon for a Saturday night six-part series gameshow.

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ITV has confirmed there are 'no current plans' for a new series of Simon Cowell's X Factor (Photo by Anthony Devlin/Getty Images)

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At a glance: 5 key points

- It was revealed in February last year that Cowell was resting the programme for 2020

- The X Factor last aired in 2018 when Dalton Harris was crowned the winner

Former judges Brian Friedman, Dannii Minogue, Sharon Osbourne and Simon Cowell wave to the crowd during the first day of auditions for series 4 X Factor (Photo by Daniel Berehulak/Getty)

- Last month it was revealed Cowell will return to UK television to lead a panel of judges in a new musical gameshow for ITV titled Walk The Line

- The 2018 series of The X Factor was presented by Dermot O’Leary and featured judges Louis Tomlinson, Ayda Field and Robbie Williams

- The programme first aired in 2004 and spawned spin-off shows X Factor: Celebrity and X Factor: The Band in 2019.

What’s been said

An ITV spokesman said in a statement: “There are no current plans for the next series of The X Factor at this stage.”

A show insider reportedly told The Sun that the show is still a worldwide “phenomenon” but in the UK “it has become slightly stale.”

A at its peak The X Factor was regularly drawing in 12million viewers on Saturday nights.

But The Sun reports an average of 5.3million watched the latest winner Dalton Harris win — a far cry from the 17.2million viewers who saw Matt Cardle become a household name in 2010.


The X Factor has helped launch the careers of chart-topping artists including One Direction, Little Mix, Olly Murs and Leona Lewis – with a few unforgettable acts like Jedward, Honey G and Wagner.

But since the introduction of streaming services, it’s made it harder for X Factor contestants to secure number one hits and in it’s latter years it struggled to create memorable performers.

The show’s original judges were Simon Cowell, Louis Walsh and Sharon Osbourne before Cowell introduced other famous faces throughout the years.The panel went to a four-star line-up with Dannii Minogue before other celebrities took to the panel including Tulisa, Cheryl, Gary Barlow and Nicole Scherzinger.