Simon Cowell has confirmed that he plans to launch two new versions of The X Factor in 2019.
Following speculation about the future of The X Factor earlier this week, Cowell has revealed that there will be two new series of the show, one expected to feature celebrities and the other reportedly inviting former contestants to return to compete.
The ‘traditional’ version of the show, in which members of the public compete, is not expected to return in 2019.
The X Factor has suffered a ratings slump in recent years, with some 2018 live shows watched by fewer than four million viewers according to overnight figures.
“The time feels right, and it will be a huge change,” Cowell told The Sun. “We haven’t exactly confirmed the dates or the order of the shows, but essentially there are going to be two versions of X Factor running this year.
“I think it’s going to be huge, it’s the best I’ve felt about this show in years.”
Last year’s X Factor judges Robbie Williams, Ayda Field and Louis Tomlinson are all being lined up for the new versions.
“I think and hope the panel will be the same,” said Cowell.
“I’m literally speaking to Robbie tonight because he’s been busy, I’ve been filming, so I’ll have more news again on that soon.”
Cowell described The X Factor overhaul as the first phase of a “four-year plan”, adding that the format would change again in 2020.
“I would never want to sit and watch a show like The X Factor slowly fade away and fail,” said Cowell. “But there is only one risk and that’s doing nothing. That is what I call a risk.”
It is not the first time The X Factor has had a celebrity revamp, with The X Factor: Battle of the Stars airing in 2006. Shortly after the show ended, Cowell said the whole thing had been “pointless” and added “we are never going to do it again.”
Cowell is also launching Britain’s Got Talent: The Champions, following the success of the America’s Got Talent spin-off which sees former winners, finalists and other successful contestants from past series compete.