The X Factor 2011: Gary Barlow hints at leaving the judging panel

“I’m taking some time off next year to remind myself who my children are and what their names are”

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Head X Factor judge Gary Barlow has hinted he may not return to the show for the 2012 series.

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Speaking after last night’s Children in Need Rocks event in Manchester, the Take That front man suggested that he has no certain plans for next year and he’s looking forward to taking a break from the public eye after the intensity of working on the ITV talent show. 

“I’m taking some time off next year to remind myself who my children are and what their names are,” he told journalists backstage, adding: “Next year doesn’t even feel like it’s approaching.”

“It’s been nice to concentrate on something other than X Factor,” he said of his involvement with the Children in Need concert. “We’re in a bubble down there [working on The X Factor]. It’s been good to leave London. We get tied up with our own importance.”

Barlow was instrumental in organising the Children in Need Rocks event, which featured, among others, fellow X Factor judges Tulisa and Kelly Rowland, Jessie J, Coldplay and Lady Gaga.  

Barlow had been due to perform a duet at the event with former X Factor favourite Cheryl Cole, but she was forced to pull out with pharyngitis.  Instead he performed Take That hit Back for Good solo.

He said: “I didn’t want to replace her because it was going to be such a nice moment for her tonight. She’s gutted. Who knows, we might be able to do a duet another time.”

Last week, one of Barlow’s X Factor acts, Frankie Cocozza, was ejected from the show following allegations of drug use. Barlow told a press conference he felt partly responsible for Cocozza going off the rails and said no part of the X Factor machine was blameless. 

“We have all played our part in what has happened with Frankie and I don’t think any of us are guilt-free in that,” he said. “Especially as I am sat here with all of the press – we have all encouraged Frankie not only to be good but to be bad as well.”

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You can watch Children in Need Rocks on iPlayer by clicking here