The star triumphed last year, winning with hopeful Louisa Johnson, but she’s now decided to bow out on a high, quitting the panel to focus on other projects.
The star confirmed the news on Twitter, writing:
Her tweets came following an article in The Sun, which quoted a source as saying: “Losing Rita is a huge blow – she’s one of the biggest stars in the country and Simon wanted her to return.
Rita’s other commitments include the upcoming ‘Fifty Shades’ sequel, which is currently being filmed.
Meanwhile, Si has a huge task on his hands, as it’s already been announced that Cheryl Fernandez-Versini and Nick Grimshaw won’t be returning to the panel.
According to reports, the Syco Music boss is hoping that Sharon Osbourne and Louis Walsh will return to the show.
The presenting team has also changed, with Dermot O’Leary stepping back into his old role after a year away, replacing Caroline Flack and Olly Murs.