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Fincham: 'X Factor reports are speculation'

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Peter Fincham, ITV's director of television, has warned viewers to take reports about who will sit on the X Factor judging panel with a "bucket of salt".

Speaking to Richard Bacon on BBC Radio 5 Live, Fincham insisted that Simon Cowell will still be "closely involved" with the upcoming series despite his commitments in the US.

"It has to remain speculation," he said. "The X Factor is coming back and is back in the ITV schedule this autumn. Simon will be closely involved with it as he is always involved with it.

"I don't want to sound like an evasive politician, but I'm not in a position to confirm or deny any of the individuals to be sitting in those chairs or on the X Factor this autumn."

Asked if it would be a 'disaster' if Cowell did pull out of appearing on the series, Fincham responded: "No, of course it wouldn't and you shouldn't look at it that way. The show will be there and when we're ready to announce who will be on it we will announce who's on it."

Reports have suggested that Cheryl Cole will return as a judge on the next series, while Louis Walsh and Dannii Minogue have been told that they have to officially apply for their roles.

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