X Factor newcomer Gary Barlow almost passed on joining the show as he had signed up to judge another talent show, according to reports.

The Sun claims that the Take That singer had already agreed to front a series to find a new star to sing at the opening ceremony of the 2012 Olympics.

However he then agreed to do X Factor after Olympics chiefs rejected the idea for the BBC show.

The series would have seen the 40-year-old auditioning hopefuls from around the country for the chance to perform at the Games next summer.

“Gary really wanted to do a show on the BBC as he believes in its public service mission,” an insider told the paper.

“He loved the idea of finding an amazing unknown singer to appear at the opening ceremony in 2012.

“But Olympics chiefs made it known they wanted big name acts to perform instead and the show had to be pulled. It was only then that Gary turned to The X Factor and became the new Simon Cowell.”

Meanwhile Gary has said he is doing The X Factor as he is keen to help others with their musical ambitions and enjoy the same sort of success he has had with Take That.

“I’m here to find the next generation of stars,” he said. “There are so many youngsters out there with talent who need a platform like The X Factor to be noticed.”