Simon Cowell ‘hires Dawn French as judge’ after he quit his upcoming new show

Simon Cowell ‘hires Dawn French as judge’ after he quit his upcoming new show

Dawn French has been booked as a surprising judge for Simon Cowell’s upcoming new singing competition – after the music mogul himself quit the show.

The 64-year-old comedy legend will be pulling up a chair on 62-year-old Simon’s new series, Walk The Line – which will see singers battle for a £500,000 prize.

It has already been revealed that Craig David, Gary Barlow and Mabel will be on the judging panel of the upcoming ITV show – while Maya Jama will command hosting duties.

Dawn is the latest star to be added to the mix – with show sources expecting her to expand her eye for talent into the world of music.

Dawn French has landed a judging role on Simon Cowell’s new show, Walk The Line

A source told The Sun: “The comedian may seem like a surprising choice for a judge on a contest that’s all about music . . . until you realise she’s always had a crush on her new boss.

“Simon is also partial to having a comic on his panels to bring some laughs, with David Walliams and Michael McIntyre previously judges on Britain’s Got Talent.

“But she also comes with over 40 years of experience in showbiz, starring in sitcoms, sketch shows, films and on the West End. So she knows how to spot talent.”

Simon stepped back from the show last month in order to spend more time with his family

Simon famously sat beside comedian Ellen DeGeneres as they both judges singers on American Idol back in 2009 – a move that left many US music fans cold with Ellen’s involvement being panned and both her and Simon being axed from the show the following year.

Meanwhile, Simon recent revealed he won’t be taking a front-of-camera position on Walk The Line after it was expected he would serve as lead judge.

The businessman revealed last month that Take That star – and former X factor judge – Gary would take his place.

Simon said: “This is a situation where I have decided it is right for me to focus on my role as the Creator and Producer as we build up to the hugely exciting launch.

“Gary’s musical pedigree is second to none – and we have known each other a long time now – so I am delighted he is picking up the baton for me for the first series of Walk The Line. I know he will do a fantastic job.”

While a source revealed Simon wanted to spend more time with his family, saying: “Given all the upheavals of the past year or so, what with lockdown and his health, he’s decided now is not the time to be front of camera.

Craig David is also set to be a judge on the new televised singing competition
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“He’s just finished an exceptionally busy period filming which saw him spending an extended period of time away from home, so he also wants to devote more time to his family in the coming weeks.”

Simon and his 44-year-old girlfriend Lauren Silverman are proud parents to seven-year-old son Eric.

While Simon last year suffered a health scare when he fell off an electric bike and broke his back.

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