Speaking at a press conference to announce he had brought a 20% stake in LMA, the Liverpool-based music-centric university and college, The former Take That singer explained that he was taking a break from the show to promote a new (as yet untitled) album.
“I have an album to promote” he said (via NME). “I’m gonna be all over the place to promote that. We wanted it to work desperately with The X Factor but it just wasn’t going to work. And it’s to be continued. Me and Simon [Cowell] are good friends. Our family are friends. The kids hang out all the time.”
“It’s just a pause on the relationship and then it will carry on. But this year I have to go and promo our album to death.”
Despite not appearing on The X Factor this year, Williams revealed his upcoming album will include a track featuring his act The LMA Choir, who were ejected from The X Factor in the second week of the live shows.
It’s not yet clear if Williams’ wife Ayda Field – who joined her husband on the show’s judging panel – could also return to The X Factor next year. The pair announced together in April 2019 that they wouldn’t appear as judges on either of the two special X Factor series planned this year – while one show will see celebrity contestants battle it out, the other will pit former champions against each other.
It’s not yet clear if One Direction’s Louis Tomlinson will once again return to judge the contest. This means that Simon Cowell could potentially have to judge the all-star shows with a fully overhauled panel.