Executive producer Simon Cowell is said to be preparing huge changes for the talent
showâ€™s 8th series. With Cheryl Cole reportedly joining him on the US version of the
show, Simon is looking to create a completely new panel of judges.
A source revealed:
â€˜If Simon and the other show bosses get their way, this will be the most dramatic
shake-up in ‘X Factor’ history. The producers are excited by the idea of the show
being entirely fresh. There is a view that Louis and Dannii are a bit tired and have
offered all they can, especially Louis. But they’ll be shocked to hear they may not be
Amongst the names rumoured to be in the running for the new judging panel are
Michael Buble, Lionel Richie, Lily Allen, Ronan Keating, who currently judges on the
Australian X Factor, and former mentor Sharon Osbourne.
Simon would no longer be an official judge, but would make some special
appearances via satellite link and return for the final. In addition, it is also reported
that the panel would include a fifth judge, such as regular mentors Gary Barlow and
Robbie Williams, with a different star filling the role every week.
ITV heads, however, are said to fear that too many major changes to the popular
programmeâ€™s format may lead to viewers switching off. An inside source told the
News of the World newspaper: â€˜ITV is already taking a massive gamble by going
ahead without Simon or Cheryl. Dispensing of Dannii and Louis would be madness.â€™
Viewers love Dannii especially. Simon has never understood how popular she is. It is
important she is there, and for viewers to have a sense of familiarityâ€™.
It is rumoured that Louis could instead take over as head judge on the Irish version
of the show. Dermot Oâ€™Leary will return as host, although Konnie Huq will be
replaced on sister show the â€˜Xtra Factorâ€™. Brian Dowling, Matt Edmonson and
Georgie Thompson are said to be currently in the running for the job.