Veteran singer Rod Stewart has reportedly signed up as a guest judge on The X Factor just days before auditions for the new series are due to begin.
The Mirror reports that the 67-year-old has been drafted in as a temporary addition to the panel, as the search continues to find a permanent replacement for Kelly Rowland.
His appointment follows speculation that show bosses are panicking to find a permanent replacement after Dannii Minogue reportedly turned down an offer to return.
“Rod is a genuine living legend and exactly what the show needs,” a source told the paper.
“He’s sold more than 100 million records worldwide so he knows exactly what it takes to succeed in the tough world of showbusiness, and hopefully he’ll also be a big draw for viewers who might not have been fans of The X Factor before. It’s a big coup to get him involved and Simon Cowell is absolutely thrilled.”
However the Mirror reports that judges are concerned about finding a new female judge, with sources saying Simon Cowell may have left it too late to sign previous favourite Katy Perry, who was a guest judge in 2010.
“Katy was a big hit with viewers when she appeared on the show,” an insider said, “but Simon didn’t act fast enough to land her for this year. It looks like getting her now is impossible because of other commitments.”
“Simon had put all his eggs in one basket with Dannii Minogue, and now everyone is scratching their head wondering who they can get. Nobody wants a boring last-minute filler, but it’s almost impossible to get an A-List star with just a few days notice.”