I'm leaving American Idol, confirms Paula Abdul on Twitter

Judge announces departure after eight seasons of Fox hit show

Paula Abdul confirmed by Twitter late yesterday that she is leaving American Idol, the top-rating US TV show.

Abdul, who has been a judge alongside Simon Cowell and Randy Jackson for the past eight seasons of Fox's hit show, said on her Twitter feed: "With sadness in my heart I've decided not to return to Idol."

"I'll miss nurturing all the new talent, but most of all being a part of a show that I helped from day one become an international phenomenon," she continued in a string of tweets.

Abdul has been locked in negotiations with the producers of American Idol over a new contract, with one report saying she had rejected a 30% pay rise in an eight figure multi-year deal.

Her contract expired at the end of the most recent season in what is reported to have been a deal worth an estimated $2m (£1.18m) a year.

Fox and the show's co-producers, FremantleMedia and 19 Entertainment, confirmed Abdul's departure in a statement, saying that they were "saddened" that she would not be returning.

Abdul's decision came a day after Fox announced that Kara DioGuardi, who was introduced as a fourth judge on American Idol last year, would return as a judge for next season.

Cowell's deal already covers the next season and he is currently negotiating a new contract in a deal reportedly worth $100m (£59m) a year.

American Idol host Ryan Seacrest has already agreed to return as part of a broader three-year $45m (£26.5m) deal with Simon Fuller's 19 Entertainment.

In June Abdul was offered a guest judge role on Fox's So You Think You Can Dance by producer and judge Nigel Lythgoe, who was one of the original executive producers of American Idol.

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Mark Sweney

The GuardianTramp

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