Gary Barlow to be new judge on X Factor?

Take That star Gary Barlow has become odds-on favourite to replace Simon Cowell on the X Factor

Bosses at ITV are still drumming up excitement for the latest series of the X Factor. The ongoing saga around just who will be on this year’s judging panel intensified today with ‘sources’ close to the show claiming Gary Barlow is the favourite to replace top judge Simon Cowell.

Speculation has been rife since Simon announced he was leaving the show for the launch of the US version – potentially taking Cheryl Cole with him.

This leaves two vacant spots on the judging panel. Several big names have been bandied to join longstanding judges Louis Walsh and Dannii Minogue.

Now it seems that Take That frontman Gary Barlow has emerged as the odds-on favourite to join the show, with a source at ITV telling the Daily Mail:

‘Gary is our favourite for the job… We are in discussions and we should have something to announce in the next couple of weeks.’

The 40-year-old singer has written many of the band’s hits, including Back For Good and our personal favourite, Never Forget . In fact, his career in music is exactly what makes him such a great choice to replace Simon – he may not be as tough, but he certainly knows his music.

‘What Gary and Simon both have is an innate understanding of the music industry and what you need to succeed – determination. Gary would be a great judge,’ the source agreed.

It wouldn’t be his first time on the hit ITV show. Take That and Gary are big supporters and fans of the X Factor, and have appeared on it performing and mentoring several times. 

Lily Allen X Factor crop

Also thrown into the mix is Lily Allen, another favourite of fans to join the panel. X Factor host Dermot O’Leary told The Sun: ‘I don’t think we need a nasty judge. I think we need an alpha, but an alpha could be anyone. I’d love Lily Allen to be in Simon’s chair.’

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