Inside Soap - - INSIDE TV -

Noth­ing her­alds the on­set of au­tumn quite like a brand-new se­ries of The X Fac­tor ar­riv­ing on our tele­vi­sion screens. And this year, for once, the judg­ing panel re­mains un­changed from the last se­ries, mean­ing that Simon Cow­ell, Sharon Os­bourne, Louis Walsh and Ni­cole Scherzinger are all back on board. But when we grabbed Louis for a chat about the forth­com­ing shows, he sug­gested there might be some other changes to look out for…

This is your 12th se­ries of The X Fac­tor – what keeps you com­ing back?

I love the job! I hon­estly do, and it’s dif­fer­ent ev­ery year. It’s dif­fer­ent again this year – Simon has tweaked the show and made a few changes. He just wants to have a great show – that’s what he said to me, that he’s not even go­ing to bother about the rat­ings this time, let’s just make the best show that we can.

Are you happy that the same judg­ing panel is in­tact since last year?

Yeah, be­cause we all know each other, and we like each other, and we trust each other. We have fun! Simon and Sharon are so funny, and Ni­cole is a lit­tle bit crazy – it just works!

We heard you did au­di­tions at Thorpe Park this year…

Yes we did – and it was re­ally noisy! There were aero­planes fly­ing over ev­ery 10 min­utes, be­cause it’s right un­der the Heathrow flight­path. We went on the ghost train and it didn’t work, so we had to go back in again, and then we went on an­other ride where we went through water – there’s a pic­ture of me get­ting com­pletely drenched! We had a lot of fun, but the noise was a lit­tle much.

Who are the out­ra­geous char­ac­ters we should look out for this year?

There’s a guy from Mon­tene­gro called Slavko, he’s very un­usual, he’s got a big long pony­tail. And we’ve got a guy called Danny Lambo – watch out for him! He owns a Lam­bourgh­ini, that’s all I can say about him. You’ve never seen any­thing like him…

X-rated: Theme park thrills for Der­mot and Ni­cole

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