BERLIN -- Simon Cowell is to return as a judge to the British version of "The X Factor," which airs on ITV.

Cowell left the series in 2010 when he launched the U.S. version of the show, which airs on Fox. Since his departure the U.K. show's ratings have been in decline. Last year's final pulled 9.6 million, compared with 17 million in 2010.

Cowell appears as a judge in the U.K. on his other show, "Britain's Got Talent," which also airs on ITV.

Both shows are produced by Cowell's company Syco with FremantleMedia.

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