Just eight months after he was unveiled as an X Factor judge, Nick Grimshaw has announced he is leaving the show.
Rumours had been circulating of behind-the-scenes disagreements between Grimshaw and boss Simon Cowell but – breaking the news on his Radio 1 breakfast programme – Grimshaw claimed there was “no bad blood” between himself and Cowell or his fellow judges Cheryl Fernandez-Versini and Rita Ora, but that he was keen to get back to being an X Factor viewer once more.
“This is not a diss to the show – this is not me storming out of X Factor going ‘Screw you Cheryl!’ – it’s a great show and I loved it. But it’s definitely a once in a lifetime style thing,” said Grimshaw.
“I loved Simon, I love Cheryl, I love Rita I love everyone who worked on it… the mentoring stuff I really really loved there’s no bad blood I just wanna watch it on the telly.”
A spokesperson for Grimshaw confirmed that his decision to leave was made at Christmas, immediately after the 2015 series had ended.
“After careful consideration, Nick has decided to rule himself out as a judge on this year’s X Factor. He loved working on last year’s series alongside Rita, Cheryl and Simon but it was very much a once in a lifetime experience. He remains a massive fan of the show and is looking forward to watching it this year.”
An X Factor spokesperson said in a statement: “Nick was a great mentor on last year’s series. He did a fantastic job with the boys’ category and we’d like to thank him for all his hard work. We are sad to see him go but wish him all the best.”
As to who’s in the frame to replace Grimshaw, early chatter suggests One Direction’s Louis Tomlinson could be returning to the show that launched his career – a move that wouldn’t be unprecedented following former contestant Olly Murs signing on as a presenter last year.