The X Factor to take year off for first time in more than 15 years

Reports suggest that Simon Cowell has opted to take the show off air for a year as he decides on what the future holds for the singing contest

X factor: The Band (ITV)

2020 is set to be the first year without a series of The X Factor since 2003, with reports suggesting the flagship talent contest will be rested.

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According to the Daily Mirror, Simon Cowell has made the decision to take a year off from the programme as he and producers decide what the future holds for the once rating-topping show.

An ITV production source was quoted as saying, “Simon has decided to rest The X Factor this year. He and the producers want to take a breath to really think through the show and revitalise it for the future.

“And going straight back into a series this year wouldn’t have allowed them the time to really focus.

“Although The X Factor is contracted for one more series, ITV totally the rationale and want to give Simon and the team the time to do what they feel is right.”

The news follows a somewhat experimental year for The X Factor, with 2019 seeing two new versions of the show, The X Factor: Celebrity and The X Factor: The Band, as well as plans for another new iteration, The X Factor: All Stars, which was eventually shelved.

Despite the reported lack of The X Factor for 2020, Cowell will still be a prominent figure on ITV this year, with Britain’s Got Talent set to continue as usual.

In December, a new five year contract was signed between Cowell’s production company Syco and ITV which confirmed the return of Britain’s Got Talent, and it was suggested at the time that this would mean further series of The X Factor as well.

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Speaking at that time, Cowell said, “I am thrilled our relationship with ITV is to continue for the foreseeable future. ITV has always been home to Britain’s Got Talent, The X Factor – and me! – and this long-term commitment shows the mutual respect in our partnership.”