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The Xtra Factor has been axed!

Gemma Strong

The X Factor's spin-off show, The Xtra Factor, is being taken off air, ITV has announced. The broadcaster confirmed on Wednesday that the programme will be coming to an end, saying it planned to focus more on digital platforms.

"The X Factor is our biggest ITV entertainment show, in terms of online engagement," a spokesperson confirmed. "We have taken the decision to move away from a linear switchover show, and instead focus our efforts on our digital platforms, in support of the main show."

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Xtra Factor hosts Rylan Clark-Neal and Matt Edmondson

Xtra Factor was launched almost 13 years ago on ITV2 and helped to make the likes of Holly Willoughby, Fearne Cotton and Caroline Flack household names.

ITV emphasised that the decision was not related to the performance of current hosts Rylan Clark-Neal and Matt Edmondson – although the pair are understandably disappointed that the show is coming to an end.

Taking to Twitter, Rylan told fans: "After an amazing series I just want to say what an honour it was to finally host The Xtra Factor alongside the lovely Matt and naughty scamp Roman. It was always a one year gig (LOLS) and a full 360 for me and I'm grateful I had that opportunity.

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Rylan proposed a wake in honour of the ITV show

"I propose a wake alongside Matt, Roman, Rochelle, Melvin, Sarah, Matt R, Caroline, Olly, Konnie, Fearne, Holly & Ben where we can all wear black and mourn as one. God bless Xtra and all who sailed her. Sleep well girl x."

Matt, meanwhile, added: "I wanted to write a quick something about my time on Xtra Factor, and the news it's not coming back this year… I had an absolute blast working on the show – it's honestly the most fun I've ever had at work, and it's thanks to the best production team in the world.

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Matt said he was "massively proud" to have been a part of the programme

"Xtra had been on the decline for a few years, but we pulled out all the stops to make a show I'm massively proud of. The feedback was amazing, and as a fan of The X Factor, it was a joy to be involved in some small way. I loved working with Rylan and Roman, and I've no doubt we'll get to do something fun together in the future.

"There aren't many shows on telly that are live and silly, but I'm so glad I got to sink my teeth into this one. Thanks to Louis, Sharon, Nicole and Simon for such a fun year, and thanks to ITV for taking a chance on the oddest looking presenting combination of all time... I feel very lucky to have done my dream job."

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