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Last Updated: Friday, 23 April, 2004, 15:38 GMT 16:38 UK
Cowell reveals new talent search
Simon Cowell
Cowell has been a judge on Pop Idol and American idol
Pop Idol judge Simon Cowell is to take part in a new music talent show on ITV1, that will see the judges competing against each other.

The show, called The X Factor, will divide finalists into three groups, with each judge in charge of preparing one group for the final.

Unlike ITV's Pop Idol there will be no upper age limit for contestants, so anybody aged 16 and above can enter.

"We're trying to create a different competition," Cowell said.


The 44-year-old, who recently signed a two-year exclusive deal with ITV, said the decision to scrap the age limit came about due to the success of older artists in the charts.

"Hopefully we're going to be able to appeal to somebody over the age of 35 who keeps saying to me there aren't any artists I like in the compeition," Cowell said.

"It's amazing, but we haven't catered for older record buyers who want to buy into the new Cliff Richard or whatever."

Auditions for the show will take place in six cities and will be open to bands as well as solo artists.


The judges will choose 120 hopefuls, who will then be divided into three groups - older artists, younger artists and bands.

One judge will be assigned to each group, with the task of training them and choosing which will go on to the live finals.

"The judges are in competition as well as the artists," Cowell said. "This time I'm going to be putting my reputation on the line as well."

Cowell has denied that the show will replace Pop Idol, but has admitted that show, which made Will Young and Gareth Gates into stars, is being given "a rest".

The other two judges have yet to be named, but Westlife manager Louis Walsh and former Spice Girl Mel B are tipped to be among those who will take part.

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