Simon Cowell’s inter-continental game of talent-show musical chairs took another twist last night as Dannii Minogue confirmed she will not be a judge on the forthcoming UK version of The X Factor.
The 39-year-old singer cited a clash of filming commitments as the reason for her departure from the programme on which she’s worked since 2007.
“I am so disappointed that I can’t be a part of The X Factor this year. I’m going to miss the show and the amazing team who work so incredibly hard on it,” wrote Minogue on mydaily.co.uk, where she acts as contributing editor.
“During discussions for me to return [to The X Factor] it became clear that unfortunately, this year, the X Factor audition dates in the UK clash with the live shows of Australia’s Got Talent during June and July. For this reason I am unable to return,” she added.
This latest revelation comes just a week after the final line-up for the US version of the show was confirmed, which saw Simon Cowell and Cheryl Cole also leave the UK X Factor to join Paula Abdul and producer LA Reid on the American judging panel.
So with three of the four regular judges out of the running, who will make up the panel for the 2011 run of the biggest talent show on British TV?
At present neither ITV nor Syco TV have made an official announcement on any of the names, although last week Simon Cowell told journalists in Los Angeles that Take That songwriter Gary Barlow would be part of the set-up.
Sources close to the show are reported this morning claiming that Tulisa Contostavlos from the band N-Dubz is in final negotiations for a position on the programme, and it is also widely expected that Irish pop-producer Louis Walsh will return, providing continuity for the viewer as the only remaining judge from last year’s series.
With at least one position still potentially up for grabs, other names being linked with the programme include singer Lily Allen, former Spice Girl Melanie B, Saturdays singer Frankie Sandford and rock legend Ozzy Osbourne.
It is also understood there could be a new high-profile presenter for ITV2’s The Xtra Factor for the 2011 series.
With only a matter of days remaining until the audition stages of the show are due to begin filming, it looks like this decision, just like that on the American judging panel, may go right down to the wire.