Simon Cowell is planning to have a cash prize total of £500,000 (€693,450) for the winner of his latest TV talent show.

With The X Factor heading to TV heaven after a 17-year run, the 61-year-old music mogul is masterminding new ITV series Walk The Line, where he'll be head judge and joined by two other stars.

Cowell has banned "old faces" on the new talent show and is keen to have "fresh, exciting names that haven't appeared on his shows before".

The show is due to begin filming in the autumn.

A source told the Sunday Mirror newspaper's Watts the Goss column: "This is a completely new format for Simon and he is very excited.

No more Louis Walsh?

"He wanted to make the prize the biggest on UK telly right now and was adamant it wouldn’t be any less than £500k. He also wants new faces. There will be no Cheryl or Louis Walsh. Those names are all 'X Factor' and Simon wants new, exciting talent sitting beside him."

Cowell is auditioning people from various areas of the entertainment industry, with singer-and-actor Olly Alexander and Masked Singer host Joel Dommett rumoured to be in the mix.

The source added: "Auditions are happening now, and Simon is a perfectionist so he’s not going to announce when the show will be until he has the perfect judging line-up."

Olly Alexander

Walk the Line will see musical acts - solo artist, choirs and bands - compete for the ultimate cash prize, but there’s more to the show than that.

The two acts judged to be the best each week have a choice to make: do they take some money and leave the competition or "walk the line" to move on to the next stage?

The longer an act stays on, the bigger their prize pot will be as they continue to compete against a fresh set of musicians.

Older TV viewers might compare it to Opportunity Knocks, which ran from the 1950s until 1990, where winning acts returned the following week to compete with newcomers.