There’ve been rumblings about an American Idol cull of judges and crew and it looks like the first has been told to go, with the show’s only original judge Randy Jackson confirming that he is to leave the reality singing contest after 12 seasons. Let the axe swinging commence.

The Wrap had hinted that this week that Nicki Minaj, Mariah Carey, Keith Urban and Jackson would all be leaving the show, along with producer Nigel Lythgoe as Fox bosses sought to make sweeping changes for a show that has lost 22% of its audience in season 12 and is now being eclipsed by NBC rival The Voice. A full cull hasn’t been officially confirmed as yet by Fox, but with Jackson now officially on his way out it looks well on the cards. According to the BBC, Jackson issued a statement that read "To put all of the speculation to rest, after 12 years of judging on American Idol, I have decided to leave after this season. "I am very proud of how we forever changed television and the music industry."

The show’s host, Ryan Seacrest had hinted at his departure at the beginning of Thursday's elimination episode in the US: "A little later on, we'll be revealing who's leaving our show," he joked as he swivelled Randy Jackson around in his chair towards him. "Maybe a head's up?"

Randy Jackson
Randy Jackson is gonnn'