X Factor auditions cancelled after death of Simon Cowell’s mum

The first X Factor auditions of the new season have been cancelled following the death of Simon Cowell’s mother.

Mr Cowell’s family confirmed that 89-year-old Julie, died on Sunday leaving them “devastated”.

Auditions for the ITV talent show were due to begin in Manchester today but will now no longer go ahead, a spokesman for Syco Entertainment confirmed.

He said: ‘They were due to start today and carry on into Tuesday and Wednesday. Today’s have been cancelled and we have not made any decisions beyond that.’

The first try-outs for the new-look show were expected to be attended by Cowell and fellow judges Rita Ora and Cheryl Fernandez-Versini, as well as new presenters Olly Murs and Caroline Flack.

Cowell’s brother Tony said: ‘Very sad night tonight. We will all miss Mum so very much. She was the heart and soul of our family.’

Mrs Cowell was married to EMI music executive Eric, who died in 1999, aged 81.

A spokesman for Mr Cowell’s family said: ‘Today our beloved mum Julie passed away. Anyone who had met her would know what a truly special and kind lady she was. 

‘We are heartbroken and will miss her terribly, but she is now at peace.’

Mrs Cowell was the mother of four boys – Simon and his brothers Nicholas, Tony and Michael, and step-mother to John and June.