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'The X Factor' won’t be returning, confirms ITV

Simon Cowell at a launch for The X Factor
Simon Cowell launching the 2018 series of The X Factor. (Image credit: Karwai Tang/WireImage)

The X Factor has effectively been axed from our screens after ITV confirmed there are no plans for its return.

Following reports that the hit reality show wasn’t coming back for a significant time, ITV revealed that a new series wasn’t in the pipeline. 

“There are no current plans for the next series of The X Factor at this stage,” said the broadcaster in a statement.

Given the statement, there must be some doubt over whether the series will ever return. Back in 2020 it was revealed that Simon Cowell was resting the show and that now looks like that could be a permanent rest.

The X Factor hasn’t been on screen since 2018, having originally started way back in 2004. If this truly is the end for the reality show it can always point to the number of careers it launched. 

Perhaps most famously X Factor launched One Direction, despite the fact the boys ironically didn't actually win the show! They came third in 2010, having been put together after originally auditioning as solo candidates.

One Direction

One Direction went on to be one of the biggest bands in the world after forming during the 2010 series of The X Factor. (Image credit: Stefania D'Alessandro/Getty Images)

Other notable bands launched by the show include Little Mix and JLS. While solo stars have included Leona Lewis and Alexandra Burke.

It also launched the career of Rylan Clark-Neal, who’s gone on to become a huge TV personality.

X Factor, though, was watched as much for its great acts as its terrible auditions — of which there were many!

It also had a huge number of judges on its panel over the years including Louis Walsh, Sharon Osbourne, Simon Cowell, Cheryl, and Kelly Rowland to name a few.

At its peak, X Factor was drawing an audience of nearly 20 million, but it struggled to match those heights in later years and began to seem tired.

But, maybe one day Simon Cowell and ITV will be tempted to bring the reality show back with a fresh revamp.

David is the What To Watch Editor and has over 20 years of experience in television journalism. He is currently writing about the latest television and film news for What To Watch.


Before working for What To Watch, David spent many years on TV Times magazine, interviewing some of television's most famous stars including Hollywood actor Kiefer Sutherland, singer Lionel Richie and wildlife legend Sir David Attenborough. 


David started out as a writer on TV Times before becoming the title's deputy features editor and then features editor. During his time on TV Times, David also helped run the annual TV Times Awards. David is a huge Death in Paradise fan, although he's still failed to solve a case before the show's detective! He also loves James Bond and controversially thinks that Timothy Dalton was an excellent 007.


Other than watching and writing about telly, David loves playing cricket, going to the cinema, trying to improve his tennis and chasing about after his kids!