Gary Barlow gives Simon Cowell X Factor ultimatum

Gary Barlow has reportedly told Simon Cowell that he will not take part in the next series of The X Factor unless fellow judge Louis Walsh is given his marching orders.

According to the Sunday Mirror Simon Cowell is desperate to keep the Take That frontman as head judge next year – but Gary has told the mogul that it is either him or Louis.

The pair are reported to have had strained relations in recent weeks, with Gary said to be unhappy over Louis’ alliance with Tulisa, as well as his part in the row over Misha B allegedly bullying other contestants.

“Gary and Louis have completely different ideas of what the show is all about,” an insider told the paper. “Gary wants it to be a credible singing contest and Louis sees it as entertainment.”

“Although he’s been outspoken defending his acts and ­criticising other people’s, Gary hates all the ­pantomime rowing and thinks Louis is behind most of it,” the source added.

“He is also livid that Misha B was voted off last week as he feels she is hugely talented. He lays the blame for that squarely at Louis’ door.”

“The thought of another year with Louis is just too much for him to bear.”

Louis – the only judge without an act in the final – has previously said that he is unsure who will be on the judging panel for the next series.

“We honestly don’t know if any of us will be back next year,” he recently revealed.