Simon Cowell leaving American Idol
Jan 11, 2010, 22:58 GMT
Simon Cowell Laurent Despois / Splash News
Los Angeles - Ending weeks of speculation British TV personality Simon Cowell said Monday that he was leaving American Idol after nine years at the top-rated US hit talent show.
Cowell told a meeting of the US Television Critics Association that he was making the move to focus on a new talent search, The X Factor, which he launched in Britain in 2004.
'The X Factor will launch in 2011,' Cowell told reporters. 'Because of that, this will be my last season on American Idol.'
Cowell will serve as the executive producer and judge on the show, according to a press release from broadcaster FOX.
'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,' Cowell said in the statement. 'We have a fantastic relationship, a great team and are all very excited about this.'