X Factor honour for Games stars

Simon Cowell.
Simon Cowell. Photo: PA

Simon Cowell has revealed plans to honour Britain's Olympic and Paralympic heroes on the X Factor.

The pop supremo said he will invite athletes to one of the live shows of the hit TV series after a spectacular summer of sport at London 2012.

Cowell described swimming sensation Ellie Simmonds as "a star" after her heroics in the pool at the Paralympic Games.

And the 52-year-old said viewers would have to "wait and see" whether Team GB stars Mo Farah and Jessica Ennis would appear as mentors on the ITV1 programme.

I think we're going to do something around the Olympics on one of the live shows so they're all welcome. We like having heroes on our shows.

– Simon Cowell told 5 News:

Britain's Olympic and Paralympic teams have been cheered on by sell-out crowds throughout London 2012 - as the nation takes both sets of Games to its heart.

Up to 2.5 million tickets for the Paralympics are expected to have been sold by the end of the Games, and record TV audiences have prompted Channel 4 to clear its day-time schedule to boost coverage.

Nearly three million people tuned in to see Simmonds smash the world record to win gold in a sensational 400m freestyle race.

And after winning gold in the SM6 200m medley, the 17-year-old has received her third medal of London 2012 - getting bronze in the 50m freestyle.

Speaking after the race, she said:

I'm so happy. I'm really chuffed to get a bronze medal, I can't believe it - I was only looking to get a pb.

– Ellie Simmonds

Meanwhile, Cowell hinted he may return to the X Factor next year after leaving to star in the US version of the show. Asked if he would be appearing in the current UK series, Cowell told 5 News:

I don't think this year, I wouldn't rule out another year.