X Factor judge Gary Barlow has confirmed that he will be leaving the popular singing competition show following the end of the current season. The BBC News reported that Barlow made an official announcement about his departure during Saturday night's show, telling one of the singing groups he has been mentoring:
I've been here for three years and I'm so glad that for my last year on the show I get to mentor you guys."
Rumors have been circulating about Barlow leaving the reality program for several months, ever since X Factor host Dermot O'Leary said that singer would be leaving after the end of the 10th season. Barlow has repeatedly denied rumors that he would be leaving the show, saying at the beginning of the current season that he had not made his mind up.
Barlow has been working steadily ever since his days with the popular British group, Take That. The singer currently has a solo album due for release at the end of November and has been working on a score for the stage version of "Finding Neverland."
There is already speculation about who might replace Barlow, with some suggesting that Simon Cowell could return to the show. Ratings for "The X Factor" have fallen since Cowell's departure two years ago. Cowell told the BBC that he wouldn't rule out the possibility of returning.