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Simon Cowell to leave American Idol

Simon Cowell has confirmed that he will leave the US talent show American Idol at the end of the coming series. The music and TV mogul is instead set to launch the X Factor stateside later this year.

Cowell announced the news in a statement following a meeting with executives from the Fox network yesterday. 'I'm thrilled that we have put a date on the launch of the US version of the 'X Factor', and delighted to be continuing to work with Fox,' the reality TV judge said. 'We have a fantastic relationship, a great team and are all very excited about this.'

Despite being offered big money to continue as a judge on American Idol Cowell revealed that he was motivated by a new challenge rather than the money: 'I was offered a lot of money to stay on. But that wasn't the reason behind it. I wanted to do something different. I wanted a new challenge.'

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