Simon Cowell wants to temporarily move into 'Downton Abbey's Highclere Castle in Berkshire for the Judges' Houses round of the new series of 'The X Factor'.
The 57-year-old music mogul has always pulled out the stops when it comes to his location for the show, but this year's hopefuls in his category could be in for a treat as he's hoping to secure the estate used to shoot the period drama for five years.
A source told The Sun newspaper: "The show producers were keen to do something a bit different for Simon's house this year and Highclere Castle was suggested.
"They loved the idea. They think it would be great fun to have Simon sweeping down the grand drive in a vintage Rolls Royce to greet contestants.
"And they would of course hire a team of butlers to wait on him and the contestants. At the moment that is their number one choice. The only other option currently being discussed is Simon's house in LA. But it has obviously been used in the past."
Simon has previously taken contestants to Los Angeles, French Riviera and Malibu.
Meanwhile, Simon is on a mission to save the show from getting the chop after last year's viewing figures were a flop, so has also decided to change the location of the auditions, reduce the amount of novelty acts and slash the running plan.
A source said recently: "Ratings plummeted and Simon knew a drastic revamp was needed. The Saturday night show became so tedious as there was rarely any drama which an eviction would bring. ITV believes transforming it is the right decision.
"It means all singers will perform on both Saturday and Sunday evenings, with acts being eliminated both nights. They are doing the Thorpe Park auditions early on, too, because producers think the unconventional location will create some funny footage. They want to get shots of the judges on white-knuckle rides.
"Ultimately, show bosses are determined to make another star. They don't want the show to be a laughing stock again like it was with Honey G."
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