Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 29 March 2015

Cowell in new X Factor and BGT deal

Simon Cowell has signed a new deal with ITV
Simon Cowell has signed a new deal with ITV

Simon Cowell has agreed a new deal with ITV which will see The X Factor and Britain's Got Talent on screen for a further three years.

The two shows - among the most popular series on the channel - will remain on air until the end of 2016.

But as the new contract was announced, there was no word on a much-anticipated return by Simon to the X Factor panel. Since his departure after the 2010 series, there has been a dramatic slide as millions of viewers abandoned the singing show.

ITV has signed the multimillion-pound agreement with Syco Entertainment and FremantleMedia UK to extend their lengthy relationship and keep the shows on air.

Director of television at ITV, Peter Fincham, said: "Britain's Got Talent and the X Factor are two of the most popular and most talked-about shows on TV. They set the gold standard for entertainment production. We're pleased to announce this deal which will see them continue to be an important part of ITV's schedule."

And Simon said: "I am thrilled that we have extended our deal with ITV for Britain's Got Talent and the X Factor. They have been fantastic partners and we have some exciting new plans to take the shows to the next level."

There had been some speculation that the X Factor may have been set to end after this year's 10th run, with judge Gary Barlow soon to bow out and fellow panellist Louis Walsh saying he was to leave, although he has indicated that he may have had second thoughts about quitting.

Simon has been tipped to return to X Factor, in the wake of a tumble in ratings for the US version of the show. He quit the UK panel in order to establish the series across the Atlantic, but audiences have not met expectations, and viewing figures at home have also slumped dramatically since he left.

X Factor is now beaten each week by BBC rival entertainment show Strictly Come Dancing, where once it was way ahead.

Britain's Got Talent will be back on screen in the spring for an eighth series. ITV2 will also continue to broadcast sister shows The Xtra Factor and Britain's Got More Talent.

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