Simon Cowell in advanced talks with ITV over lock-in

ITV is in advanced negotiations with Simon Cowell to tie in the X Factor and Britain’s Got Talent judge for a further three years.

Last week, Cowell suggested to reporters that he might quit the UK broadcaster to focus on his US interests.

But an ITV source told City A.M. Cowell had been in negotiations with the broadcaster for several weeks and that the intention was that he would continue with both shows for a further three years. It is estimated Cowell will receive £6m annually although negotiations are ongoing.

“He has worked for ITV for number of years and is very loyal to ITV. He has publicly said he is very grateful to ITV for giving him his big break. Obviously he has commitments in the US but he’s also driven by what the audience want and will continue to make these shows as long as the audience still wants to watch them,” said the ITV source.

Judging by Saturday’s viewing figures Cowell’s commitment to the shows looks unlikely to diminish.

X Factor drew in an average audience of 10.8m viewers on Saturday night – 45 per cent of those watching television nationally at the time – and peaked at 12.3m, making the fourth episode of this year’s X Factor the most successful of all and beating last years viewing figures by 800,000.