1. ITV Report

X Factor auditions cancelled following death of Simon Cowell's mother

Simon Cowell and his mother Julie. Photo: PA

Auditions for X Factor have been cancelled following the death Simon Cowell's mother.

His family announced that Julie Cowell died yesterday at 89.

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

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.

– Syco Entertainment spokesman

The first contestants for 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.

Announcing Mrs Cowell's death last night, the family said it was heartbroken and would "miss her terribly".

"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," a statement said.

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