Simon Cowell ‘hires Dawn French for upcoming show’ as he ‘takes step back from TV’

Simon Cowell has hired Dawn French for his upcoming show Walk The Line.

The TV star has enlisted the help of Dawn to sit on the judging panel next to music icons including Gary Barlow and Craig David, amongst others.

The Vicar of Dibley star, 64, is reported to have come as a surprise given the show focuses on finding singing talent.

Those competing are set to battle it out for a chance to win a whopping £500,000.

A source told The Sun: "The comedian may seem like a surprising choice for a judge on a contest that’s all about music . . . until you realise she’s always had a crush on her new boss.

"Simon is also partial to having a comic on his panels to bring some laughs, with David Walliams and Michael McIntyre previously judges on Britain's Got Talent.

"But she also comes with over 40 years of experience in showbiz, starring in sitcoms, sketch shows, films and on the West End. So she knows how to spot talent."

The reports come after Simon is said to be "quitting TV roles" in a bid to spend more time with his family.

A source told The Sun: "The comedian may seem like a surprising choice for a judge on a contest that’s all about music . . . until you realise she’s always had a crush on her new boss.

"Simon is also partial to having a comic on his panels to bring some laughs, with David Walliams and Michael McIntyre previously judges on Britain's Got Talent.

"But she also comes with over 40 years of experience in showbiz, starring in sitcoms, sketch shows, films and on the West End. So she knows how to spot talent."

"He's just finished an exceptionally busy period filming which saw him spending an extended period of time away from home, so he also wants to devote more time to his family in the coming weeks," it was continued.

"Clearly, Simon has nothing to prove and doesn't seek celebrity status; even after a quieter couple of years by his standards, he still gets recognised everywhere he goes."

The insider added that being "ramped up" for the launch of Walk The Line is the "last thing he needs," but he will still "help steer the ship" so that it can meet its "exacting demands".

Simon has kept a largely low profile after his horror bike crash last year.

The TV judge suffered multiple vertebrae fractures last August while riding in Malibu with Lauren and son Eric after revving his e-bike by accident, causing him to slam into the tarmac.

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