‘The X Factor’ to honour British Olympic team on live show, says Simon Cowell

However, Cowell plays down rumours that he will also appear on the show later this year

Simon Cowell has revealed that The X Factor plans to honour the British Olympic team.

Last month, it was reported that several high-profile British Olympians had signed up to become “mentors” on the ITV singing contest. However, gold medal-winning cyclists Bradley Wiggins and Chris Hoy both refuted the rumours. Heptathlete Jessica Ennis was less dismissive of the prospect, saying: “I’m a massive fan of The X Factor so we’ll see.”

Speaking to Channel 5 News, Cowell has admitted that he still hopes to tempt the athletes onto The X Factor in some capacity. He said: “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.”

Cowell has not appeared on the British version of The X Factor since 2010, when he left to launch the format in the US. Last week (August 29), the UK show’s executive producer Richard Holloway claimed that Cowell will make an appearance on the British series later this year (2012) “in some guise, somewhere”.

However, when asked about his return to the show, Cowell played down the rumours, saying: “I don’t think this year, I wouldn’t rule out another year.” Cowell is currently filming the US version of The X Factor alongside fellow judges Britney Spears, Demi Lovato and LA Reid.