Robbie Williams and Ayda Field announced their departure from The X Factor yesterday, citing their busy schedules as the reason why they couldn’t take part this year.
However, The Sun has since reported that the couple quit the show after bosses refused to increase their multi-million pound fee.
A show source said: “The loss of Robbie is a big blow, given his huge star power. But the X Factor is being overhauled and we are likely going to go back to three judges, which is how we started.”
“Robbie and Ayda were already on a £10million deal and there was no way we were going to be able to increase that sort of money.”
“They haven’t fallen out with Simon – they were all on holiday together recently – but there are business realities at play.”
Meanwhile, Louis Tomlinson’s return to the show this year is unlikely, but bosses hope he’ll be back again next year.
The insider said: “X Factor will be different this year, with two distinct versions, but will go back to a more regular version next year.”
“Louis wants to concentrate on his album this year. He also doesn’t like the ideas of judging celebrities and past contestants.”
“But we hope he will return to the show as a judge in 2020. Robbie, Louis and Ayda are all part of the X Factor family.”
It’s believed the judging panel will be cut to three for the rumoured celebrity version of The X Factor.
Former judges, including Cheryl, Sharon Osbourne, Nicole Scherzinger, Mel B, and Louis Walsh, have already been tipped to return to the panel.
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