X Factor auditions have been cancelled after the death of Simon Cowell’s mum. His family announced that Julie Cowell died on Sunday aged 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. He said: “They were due to start today (Sunday) and carry on into Tuesday and Wednesday. Today’s have been cancelled and we have not made any decisions beyond that.” The first try-outs for the new-look show were expected to be attended by Cowell and fellow judges Rita Ora,

Nick Grimshaw and Cheryl Fernandez-Versini, as well as new presenters Olly Murs and Caroline Flack.

The auditions in Manchester had been due to last for four days, before heading down to London for seven days from 14 July.

Announcing Mrs Cowell’s death on Sunday 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.

A spokesman for the family said: “We would like to thank the media for kindly respecting Julie’s privacy throughout and we politely request continued privacy for the entire family at this particularly difficult time.”