Questions about Simon Cowell‘s participation in the UK version of The X Factor have been mounting since the Season 9 finale hit a six-year low in December. At the time, there were suggestions that the impresario would ride to the rescue of the ITV show he left in 2010, reclaiming his seat on the judging panel. While he will ramp up his involvement this year, I’ve confirmed that he will not be making a full-time return to the program.
Cowell told Hello magazine over the weekend that he is “definitely getting more involved and will have a role in the next series” of The X Factor UK. The show habitually airs in the fall; basically the same time as Fox’s U.S. version, on which he is a judge. There’s been speculation he could somehow do both, but I’m told instead that he’s likely to make timely special appearances. Last year, he popped up on a September episode which helped the show win the night, but didn’t boost overnight ratings from the previous Cowell-less installment. Cowell will be a judge on ITV’s Britain’s Got Talent for the upcoming season after returning in 2012. BGT will air from April through early June. Both X Factor UK and BGT are in the last year of their contracts with broadcaster ITV.