Simon Cowell has admitted Gary Barlow may not return to the judging panel on the next series of The X Factor.

Take That plan to release a new album and Simon hinted that Gary may be too busy promoting that to audition new music hopefuls on the ITV talent show.

Simon told The Sun: “This show takes over your life, it is not a two day a week show.”

He added: “I always thought that with Gary he would have the Take That commitment in 2012.

“But there has to be a certain amount of unpredictability with this show, it is what keeps people interested.”

The music mogul had to leave the UK judging panel last year as he was busy working on the US X Factor, but he told The Daily Mirror he had not been too impressed with how the judging panel got along without him.

Simon gave Gary, Tulisa Contostavlos, Louis Walsh and Kelly Rowland a “could do better” eight out of 10 for their efforts.

He said there could a reshuffle and hinted he may even return himself.

Simon said: “We have got to look at everyone, the whole show. I don’t know if I will keep the panel the same. I haven’t decided yet.

“Judging can be tough, but if we can’t find a star out of 120,000 applicants then someone isn’t doing their job properly.”