The X Factor Has Staying Power

Simon Cowell's singing competition will be back for a seventh season, and international versions could be on the way.

This year's X Factor has been one of the most watched in the show's history, with last night's final attracting just under 20 million people. So, when yesterday's final credits were accompanied by a voice-over appealing for new applicants it wasn't a shock to discover that plans were already in place for a seventh season.

It's evident, though not official, that despite music mogul Simon Cowell's initial reservations the show will be back next year. Cowell, who co-produces the programme, suggested last week that the reality series wouldn't continue if ITV didn't offer them more money, saying: "Until we resolve that, it's difficult to say (if we will be returning in 2010)." Of course, the channel would have been crazy to lose The X Factor, which attracts millions of pounds worth of sponsorship deals each year (hence yesterday's drawn out finale). Fans will also be glad to hear that, when discussing its return, Cowell added: "We've just got to make sure if we do bring it back, then it's going to be better than this year." Let's hope the extra money's not spent on more blinding pyrotechnics.

As well as another series, The X Factor also looks likely to get an American spin-off show. Meanwhile, it's reported that countries including Afghanistan and North Korea are planning their own versions as well. Is there nothing Simon Cowell can't do?

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