Simon Cowell’s X Factor UK axed after 17 years - why ITV talent show is being cancelled

ITV has said there are “no current plans” for another series of The X Factor following reports that its creator Simon Cowell has axed the programme after 17 years.

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The primetime TV show has excited viewers with talented newcomers since it aired in 2004 but now new plans from Cowell are on the horizon for a Saturday night six-part series gameshow.

Last month it was revealed Cowell will return to UK television to lead a panel of judges in a new musical gameshow for ITV titled Walk The Line.

Following reports in The Sun, the newspaper said the X Factor is now being rested for at least five years.

An ITV spokesman said in a statement: “There are no current plans for the next series of The X Factor at this stage.”

The X Factor last aired in 2018 - with an average of 5.3 million viewers - when Dalton Harris was crowned the winner, a far cry from the 17.2 million viewers who saw Matt Cardle become a household name in 2010.

The X Factor has helped launch the careers of chart-topping artists including One Direction, Little Mix, Olly Murs and Leona Lewis - with other unforgettable acts like Jedward, Honey G and Wagner.

Since the introduction of streaming services, it’s made it harder for X Factor contestants to secure number one hits and in it’s latter years it struggled to create memorable performers.

The 2018 series of The X Factor was presented by Dermot O’Leary and featured judges Louis Tomlinson, Ayda Field and Robbie Williams - with other former judges including Tulisa, Cheryl, Gary Barlow and Nicole Scherzinger.

It was revealed in February last year that Cowell was resting the programme for 2020.