The X Factor looks set to undergo a massive overhaul for 2019 – with Simon Cowell and co shaking up the format by swapping out unknown pop star wannabes for celebrities for a one-off series.
RadioTimes.com understands that a celebrity revamp of the series – which has suffered a ratings slump in recent years, with 2018's series falling below four million overnight viewers during its live shows – is in early discussions at ITV. The overhaul could mean that the auditions stage is scrapped entirely this year, with a line-up of British celebrities drafted in for a format similar in style to Strictly Come Dancing or Dancing on Ice.
“Imagine Strictly but with singers. That's the plan being talked about at present," a show source told the Mirror. "There is no doubt the X Factor format needs freshening up – this is it.”
The show would likely return to its original format for 2020, which sees amateur singers audition for a panel of judges before making it through various stages in order to reach a run of live Saturday night shows.
“The X Factor has not been axed and will be back on ITV later this year,” said an ITV spokesman – a comment in line with ITV boss Kevin Lygo's recents comments about trying to “make [X Factor] leap again”.
The next series is also reported to feature an X Factor "champions" segment, which will see stars from X Factor series' around the world go head-to-head with one another, in a similar style to the recent America's Got Talent Champions format which reunited the likes of Susan Boyle and Paul Potts in a hit new competition.
No doubt Cowell will be looking to recreate the magic this side of the pond...