Simon Cowell has announced he’s stepping down as a judge on his new ITV talent show.
Over the summer, the former X Factor star announced he’d be producing and judging on Walk The Line, a new ITV singing show in which hopefuls compete each night for a cash prize.
However, it’s now been confirmed that Simon’s return to UK screens has been put on ice, and his role on Walk The Line will instead remain behind the scenes.
According to The Sun, the music and TV mogul made the decision so he could spend more time with his family.
He told the publication: “This is a situation where I have decided it is right for me to focus on my role as the creator and producer as we build up to the hugely exciting launch.”
Simon will be replaced on the Walk The Line by Take That star Gary Barlow, who previously took over when he stepped down as an X Factor judge in 2011.
“Gary’s musical pedigree is second to none – and we have known each other a long time now – so I am delighted he is picking up the baton for me for the first series of Walk The Line,” Simon added. “I know he will do a fantastic job.”
No more judges for Walk The Line have been confirmed yet, although reports have claimed that Craig David will also appear on the panel, with Maya Jama on presenting duties.
Simon’s stint on Walk The Line should have marked his first appearance on UK television since he broke his back in an electric bike accident last year, leading to him being temporarily replaced on Britain’s Got Talent and its US counterpart.
Due to the pandemic, BGT did not take place in 2021, but is expected to be back next year.
Meanwhile, ITV confirmed in July there were “no plans” for X Factor to make a comeback, after the 2020 spin-offs X Factor Celebrity and X Factor: The Band pulled in the lowest viewing figures in the long-running show’s history.