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X Factor Takes A Break

 Simon CowellSimon Cowell









The X Factor will not return later this year as Simon Cowell plans to “rest” the talent show for 12 months.  

The programme has been an annual staple on ITV since 2004 but will not air in 2020.  

Instead, there are plans to bring it back in 2021. It is part of Cowell’s plan to see if the format can be refreshed.  

The X Factor has experienced a decline in viewing figures and recent spin-off shows X Factor: Celebrity and X Factor: The Band failed to stem the losses.  

A production source said: “Simon is planning to rest The X Factor this year. He and the producers want to take a breath to really think through the show and how to reinvigorate it for the future. And they don’t believe they can do that if they go straight into another cycle of the show this year.  

“Although The X Factor is contracted for one more series, ITV totally understand the rationale behind the idea of resting it this year and want to give Simon and the team the time to do what they feel is right.”  

In December, producers Thames and Cowell’s company Syco signed a new deal for Britain’s Got Talent for five years and The X Factor for one more series.  

The X Factor was once one of the most popular shows on TV and helped launch the careers of chart-topping artists including One Direction, Little Mix, Olly Murs and Leona Lewis.  

However, interest has waned and in November an average of 2.6 million viewers tuned in to ITV to watch former The Only Way Is Essex star Megan McKenna crowned the first winner of spin-off show X Factor: Celebrity.  

A spokesman for Britain’s Got Talent and The X Factor said: “Plans for this autumn are still being finalised and will be announced in due course. We are currently filming Britain’s Got Talent 2020.”  

7 February 2020


Phillip Schofield

Phillip SchofieldPhillip Schofield









This Morning and Dancing On Ice presenter Phillip Schofield has today come out as gay.

He issued the following statement: 

"You never know what's going on in someone's seemingly perfect life, what issues they are struggling with, or the state of their wellbeing - and so you won't know what has been consuming me for the last few years. With the strength and support of my wife and my daughters, I have been coming to terms with the fact that I am gay. 

"This is something that has caused many heart-breaking conversations at home. I have been married to Steph for nearly 27 years, and we have two beautiful grown-up daughters, Molly and Ruby. My family have held me so close - they have tried to cheer me up, to smother me with kindness and love, despite their own confusion. Yet still I can't sleep and there have been some very dark moments. 

"My inner conflict contrasts with an outside world that has changed so very much for the better. Today, quite rightly, being gay is a reason to celebrate and be proud. Yes, I am feeling pain and confusion, but that comes only from the hurt that I am causing to my family.   

"Steph has been incredible - I love her so very much. She is the kindest soul I have ever met. My girls have been astonishing in their love, hugs and encouraging words of comfort. Both mine and Steph's entire families have stunned me with their love, instant acceptance and support. 

"Of course they are worried about Steph, but I know they will scoop us both up. My friends are the best, especially Holly, who has been so kind and wise - and who has hugged me as I sobbed on her shoulder. At ITV, I couldn't hope to work with more wonderful, supportive teams. 

"Every day on This Morning, I sit in awe of those we meet who have been brave and open in confronting their truth - so now it's my turn to share mine. This will probably all come as something of a surprise and I understand, but only by facing this, by being honest, can I hope to find peace in my mind and a way forward. 

"Please be kind, especially to my family." 

07 February 2020


A Winter’s Tale From Shaun The Sheep

Shaun The SheepShaun The Sheep









Shaun The Sheep is to star in a new Aardman animation episode for BBC One for next Christmas.

In the half hour special, A Winter’s Tale From Shaun The Sheep (w/t), Shaun's seasonal excitement turns to dismay when a farmhouse raid to get bigger stockings for the Flock inadvertently leads to Timmy going missing.

Sue Deeks, Head of BBC Programme Acquisition, said: “Aardman lovingly produce stories with warmth, personality and humour, so we are truly delighted that, following the huge success of The Farmer's Llamas, the next project in our continuing relationship is another wonderful Shaun the Sheep special.”

Sean Clarke, Managing Director of Aardman, said: "Aardman films have come to be synonymous with the festive period, which is a real honour. We're delighted to be continuing this tradition with a Shaun the Sheep seasonal special that will premiere on the BBC for Christmas 2021."

The half hour special will start shooting in late 2020.

7 February 2020 

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