X Factor studios may be bulldozed to make way for new homes

The final credits could be about to roll on the home of the X Factor after the historic birthplace of TV talent shows was sold to a property developer.

Credit: PA

Millions of viewers followed the fortunes of contestants like Sam Bailey, Leona Lewis, and One Direction as the they performed for the judges in the studios at Wembley Park in north London.

Simon Cowell pictured leaving the Fountain Studios i Credit: PA

But the TV complex, known as Fountain Studios, made a loss of £300,000 in 2014. Fountain's owner, Avesco Group, has sold the site to property firm Quintain for £16m.

Quintain is developing 85 acres of land around the site where more than 4,000 homes are being built.

The new landlord has agreed to let the studios stay in business for up to five years but a clause in the lease means the deal can be terminated with six months notice after 2016.

The sale of the studios is likely to lead to the closure of the Fountain Studios business in Wembley and Fountain is therefore beginning a consultation process with its staff.

Credit: Fountain Studios

The studios, also home to Britain's Got Talent, have produced some of television's most popular shows since the start of ITV in 1955.

Pioneering talent show Opportunity Knocks, with legendary host, Hughie Green, was first broadcast from Wembley in 1956.

The programme was later credited with discovering singers Lena Zavaroni and Peters & Lee, along with comedians Les Dawson and Freddie Starr and poet Pam Ayres.

Fountain Studios, pictured in the 1970s

The Frost Report, fronted by David Frost, and World of Sport, hosted by Eamonn Andrews and Dickie Davies, were transmitted in black and white from Wembley by Associated Redifusion.

The birth of colour television at the end of the 1960s saw the studios taken over by London Weekend where early shows included sitcoms On The Buses and Please Sir and period drama Upstairs Downstairs.

Fountain Studios in Wembley Credit: Google Street View

A spokesman for Quintain said there was no timetable for developing the site but 'eventually it'll become part of the scheme.'

The loss of the studios would another blow to London's TV industry following the closure of BBC Television Centre in Shepherds Bush three years ago.