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EXCLUSIVE: Simon Cowell and Channel 5 “close” to signing deal on The X Factor

CHANNEL 5 are “keen” to secure a big-money deal with Simon Cowell, which could see the music mogul bring ‘The X Factor’ to the network as well as new entertainment formats to the Viacom-owned broadcaster. 

Politicalite understands that the American media Goliath who owns Channel 5 – also operating iconic music channel(s) MTV is said to be “very close” to signing a deal to bring back one of the biggest music entertainment talent shows of the noughties which used to pull in around 15 million viewers in its heyday.

The news means Simon could take ITV’s ‘The X Factor’ over to Channel 5 – the network that was launched by one of the UK’s most successful girlbands The Spice Girls in 1997 – and the music mogul met with Ben Frow, the channel’s director of programmes, last week to discuss potential projects, which could also include new entertainment formats. 

A telly insider told The Sun: “This would be a huge move for Simon, who carved out a TV career based on BGT and X Factor on Channel 5’s rival station.”

“It would effectively see him turn his back on ITV after two decades which have seen him deliver them two of their biggest hits.”

“There’s a strong sense that one chapter is ending and another beginning and Channel 5 are keen to be a part of that.”

However, it’s thought Channel 5 would need to pay a seven-figure sum to land Simon. 

The insider added: “But they’d need to nail down a seven-figure contract to seal the deal to bring him across.”

In July, Simon was said to have struck a deal with the network to bring back the singing competition – which ran for 15 series and two spin-offs on ITV from 2004 to 2019 – after taking “lots of meetings” with a number of different TV channels.

A source told the Daily Star Sunday newspaper at the time: “As soon as ‘X Factor’ was up for grabs, there was interest from a number of the networks.

“‘X Factor’ is one of the most iconic shows in TV history, so it’s no surprise lots of channels were keen. The production company had their pick.

“After a lot of meetings, execs decided to go with Channel 5.”

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