The case of The Times' missing Simon Cowell article is not solved. But today the paper publishes another report on Cowell, his "business partner" Sir Philip Green and their TV ambitions. Let us just say it stands as a corrective to Dan Sabbagh's original Times piece which has been deleted not just from the paper's archives but from Google itself!
In the report Cowell makes it known that he may be exiting Fox's American Idol in 2011 to front the first US The X Factor later that year. Gound tremblingly, it's more than hinted that Cowell may only appear on the UK X Factor for one more season (2010): a warning shot at ITV, a company he's known to want to run?
The new gospel according to The Times is that Sir P [Sirpee] is not quite at the centre of things as first claimed. Sony - which has the rights to The X Factor - took against Sirpee as Cowell's rep: certainly they were not about to roll over just because Sirpee and Cowell were reportedly hoping to buy them out and expand the brand under their proposed Greenwell Entertainment. This probably coshes the idea of a Las Vegas web-based pay-per-view US X Factor, as fantastically described by Sirpee in the current GQ which carries a Cowell interview.
Since Fox (owned like The Times by Murdoch) will be broadcasting the American X Factor, one can understand a need not to upset Cowell at this sensitive time, such as with suggestions that his fate is not entirely in his mighty, hairy, hands.
What this new story tells me is that Cowell is The Man, he is in total control. No one is his intermediary. It also tells me that The Times is not independent when the interests of its controlling company are involved: why delete a report without explanation or correction otherwise? One imagines this new article will not suddenly be disappeared. Here's the report. Meantime, GQ (with its Simon Cowell cover and dreamy claims) is made to look a right arse.