Si­mon is set to make a note­worty re­turn

Macclesfield Express - - TVWEEK -

It’s back. The shini­est, most ex­pen­sive tal­ent show in Blighty, and re­turn­ing to the helm is show runner Si­mon Cow­ell. Now his US ver­sion of The X Fac­tor (Satur­day, ITV, 8pm) has folded, the pop sven­gali has come home for the 11th se­ries of the pro­gramme which turned the likes of Leona Lewis, Olly Murs and One Di­rec­tion into stars. From now un­til De­cem­ber, The X Fac­tor will dom­i­nate week­end nights on ITV, and one man who’s sat through ev­ery se­ries is Louis Walsh. The ques­tion is: how will the male judges get on work­ing along­side re­turn­ing judge Ch­eryl Fer­nan­dez-Versini (or Ch­eryl Cole if you pre­fer) and the out­spo­ken Mel B? Well, that re­mains to be seen, but we can tell you that the all-danc­ing Der­mot O’Leary is back as host for the sev­enth year. As the au­di­tions kick off, mil­lions of fans set­tle down to boo or cheer the lat­est batch of de­luded di­vas and ner­vous war­blers. The min­i­mum age for acts has been low­ered to 14, and there’s ev­ery chance the world’s next big record­ing star could be mak­ing their TV de­but tonight. One woman well aware of the pres­sures fac­ing this year’s wannabe stars is Diana Vick­ers. In 2008, aged 16, the Lan­cashire lass en­joyed her show­biz break­through on the show. Al­though she came fourth, Diana has proved there is life af­ter TXF. She’s re­cently been film­ing the hor­ror thriller ‘Await­ing’ in East York­shire, and in mid-Oc­to­ber makes her sit­com de­but in Com­edy Cen­tral’s new se­ries, Give Out Girls. So, like 1D and Olly, she hasn’t done too badly off the back of be­ing a runner-up. How im­por­tant does she think it is to win The X Fac­tor? “I don’t think it’s im­por­tant,” she ex­plains. “You do want to come in at a rea­son­able place – the quar­ter fi­nal I got to, and it’s a great plat­form.” What ad­vice does she have for the lat­est batch of hope­fuls? “I think if you can, get in Ch­eryl’s team… she’s fab and she did a great job with me, but just be your­self and don’t take it too se­ri­ously. “Re­mem­ber your roots. Just go on there and have fun. Use that plat­form to be clever and smart, and get what you want af­ter.” Of course keep­ing your feet on the ground as the weeks go by can be tricky for even the most grounded star­let. Back to this year’s show, and there will be plenty of com­pe­ti­tion between the judges. Ch­eryl and Si­mon have both men­tored two win­ning acts, while Louis has backed one. As Mel B has yet to prove her­self, and 2013 win­ner Sam Bai­ley was such a tough act to fol­low, it should be one of the most in­ter­est­ing con­tests so far.

In tune with the na­tion Si­mon Cow­ell of­fers his opin­ion

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