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American Idol Drama Continues As Nigel Lythgoe Is 'Fired Over Simon Fuller Feud'

Bosses are desperate to U-turn the show's ratings


Nigel Lythgoe has allegedly been axed from his role as Executive Producer on American Idol following tensions with creator Simon Fuller.

Lythgoe, who rose to fame in the UK as 'Nasty' Nigel on ITV's Popstars, is apparently leaving alongside colleagier Ken Warwick in what is said to be an "inevitable" development.

Judges Randy Jackson, Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj have all already dropped out of the show amid speculation that they would be dropped anyway, while Keith Urban's future on the panel remains uncertain.

Nigel Lythgoe at BritWeek (WENN)

A source told FOX411's Pop Tarts: "Both Nigel and Simon really clashed. Ken and Nigel’s exit isn’t surprising…It’s hard for anyone involved in the production to get along with Fuller.”

FOX cheif Mike Darnell left the show a few weeks ago, making it difficult for Idol execs to continue with their search for replacement staff, both on and off-screen. It had been rumoured that former Idol stars such as Jennifer Hudson and Kelly Clarkson could be returning, but an executive tells The Wrap: "We can't make any moves on Idol without [Darnell's successor] in there". Clarkson is also thought to have declined an offer to join.

Simon Fuller at Wimbledon (WENN)

Jennifer Lopez has also downplayed reports that she is being offered a lucrative offer to rejoin, while Adam Lambert and Clay Aiken's names have also been mentioned in a number of rumours.

Lythgoe will continue his work as a judge and exec on So You Think You Can Dance, which continues to be a huge success in the US despite only lasting for two series in the UK.

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