Gary Barlow has denied rumours that he will be taking over from Simon Cowell as an X-Factor judge.

There has been wild speculation that the Take That frontman has accepted a cool £2 million pounds to dole out criticism to poor, deluded pop star wannabes on the show after Robbie Williams turned down the deal.

 “Gary had initially snubbed talks after hearing Robbie wanted the job.” A source told Star Magazine.

 “But when he turned it down, Gary let it be known he was definitely interested,” the source added.

“The show bosses are really keen on Gary – they know he is highly knowledgeable about music and probably more reliable than Robbie.”

 “They know it won’t become ‘‘The Gary Show’’, which was always the danger with Rob”

However Barlow’s representatives said the claims were “not true”.

And in other Gary Barlow/Robbie Williams news (because this is all so scintillating, isn’t it?!)  the duo have apparently put a bet on who can lose the most weight in time for Take That’s upcoming tour, The Sun reported.

Williams said: “Me and Gary vary in weight. We go up and down by the week. We were at my house last week when Gary turns to me and says, ‘I won’t be needing these clothes soon, do you want them?’ – ‘cos he’s going on a diet’.”

He added: “I thought, ‘Right, if you’re eating a lettuce, I’m eating half a lettuce’. There is now a serious game on to see who can get the thinnest for the tour.”