Simon Cowell has announced he is launching another version of the X Factor, which will provide direct competition to a rival talent show from Little Mix.
Cowell told The Sun he had axed the proposed X Factor All Stars series, which had been set to premiere next month and feature previous winners including Leona Lewis and Alexandra Burke.
Instead, the 60-year-old music mogul will premiere X Factor The Band, to find new all-male and all-female groups.
It will be a direct rival to The Search, the talent show set to be launched by Little Mix on BBC1 next year.
Cowell, who helped launch Little Mix’s career on the X Factor and had them on his record label before a split last year, said he was relishing the competition.
He told The Sun: “This is what really happened. I was approached to co-produce that show last year by Little Mix’s management.
“I told them the problem was we have a conflict of interest because we are launching X Factor The Band in 2020. We were told their show was going to launch in 2021.
“Then we had the fallout and find out Little Mix were bringing their show forward. Was that intentional because we are doing our show? I have no idea.
“But regardless, it was too much fun not to do this year. I would rather it was us doing it first.
“It 100% makes it more exciting there being a battle.”
The Search will see Little Mix – consisting of Perrie Edwards, Jesy Nelson, Leigh-Anne Pinnock and Jade Thirlwall – going back to their talent show roots to mentor new talent.
They won the 2011 series of The X Factor as a group, having been formed on the show after originally auditioning as solo singers.
The winner of The Search will have the opportunity to join Little Mix on their summer tour in 2020.