Simon Cowell
TV boss Simon Cowell has said he is 'heartbroken' over the death of his beloved mother Julie Cowell REUTERS/Neil Hall

TV mogul Simon Cowell has cancelled the first round of X Factor auditions after the death of his mother.

The 55-year-old had been due to appear at auditions for the ITV competition in Manchester on 5 July, but this was cancelled following the passing of his beloved mother, Julie Brett, at the age of 89.

Ticket vendor Applause Store informed ticket-holders via Twitter and email that the auditions would no longer be taking place due to "unforeseen circumstances".

A statement released by Syco Entertainment read: "They were due to start today and carry on into Tuesday and Wednesday. Today's have been cancelled and we have not made any decisions beyond that."

Confirming Julie's death, Cowell and his siblings, Tony, Michael and Nicholas, and step-brother and step-sister John and June, released a statement which read: "Today our beloved mum Julie passed away. Anyone who had met her would know what a truly special and kind lady she was. We are heartbroken and will miss her terribly, but she is now at peace."

According to the Mail Online, his brother Tony added: "Very sad night tonight. We will all miss Mum so very much. She was the heart and soul of our family."

The Syco record label is said to have been extremely close to his mother and spent a lot of time with her in the last year, a source has revealed.

The insider reportedly told The Sun: "Simon is absolutely devastated. His mum was the most beloved person in his life and they were incredibly close.

"But at least she got to see him settle down and start a family which was one of the great wishes of her life. Julie had been unwell for some time and she was in a home. But Simon and his brothers were in constant contact with her and the family remained very close."

They added: "They had been paying regular visits to her bedside and it's been a Godsend that Simon hadn't had to do too much work in the US over the last year. He's completely heartbroken."