X Factor is back - and so are these old faces
At a time when TV shows are trying to come up with new formats to stay fresh and keep the viewers turned in, The X Factor (Saturday, ITV, 8pm) is going retro.
Gone are the judges from the disappointing previous series-Rita Or a, Nick Grimshaw and Cheryl-withat rio of favourite faces returning, alongside showrunner Simon Cowell.
Sharon Osbourne, Nicole Scherzinger and Louis Walsh have all been brought back in from the cold to breathe life into the hit show.
With the exception of Nicole - who joined in 2012 - the 12th series’ panel includes the original judges from the first season in 2004, which was then hosted by Kate Thornton.
Louis is the longest-serving member of the panel. He sat on the judging panel for 11 series before a break last year and said he can not wait to return.
“He’d say otherwise but I knew Simon missed me last year!” he quipped.
“I’m delighted to be back on the panel, especially beside my two favourite female judges Sharon and Nicole, and I’m looking forward to taking themall backto Dublin this year when we head there for auditions.”
Meanwhile, Sharon - who appeared on the panel between 2004 and 2007 before returning in 2013 - said the things he is most looking forward to is meeting Cowell’s baby son Eric.
She said: “I’m overjoyed about going back to The X Factor, sitting with Lou, gorgeous Nicole and naughty Si- mon. But most of all, I can’t wait to meet baby Eric.”
And finally, Nicole couldn’t contain her glee at the confirmation of her return.
“I’m excited about discovering, mentoring and winning with an exciting new act this year,” she said.
“And having had winning contestants in the past, Simon knows I will do it.”
As ever, the contest gets under way with the auditions stage tonight and tomorrow, in which Cowell and co will be expected to successfully identify potential stars from the thou- sands of hopefuls who are hoping to succeed 2015 winner Louisa Johnson.
ITV are keeping some details of the new series tightly under wraps, but they have announced that there will be one or two format changes.
Most importantly, the intimate setting of the room auditions are being brought back after years of first auditions in front of a huge arena crowd.
Also back to the X Factor family is presenter Dermot O’ Leary, who has secured himself an £8 million, four-year deal to front the show.
O’Leary left Factor after “eight wonderful years” in 2015 and was replaced by Olly Murs and Caroline Flack.
The 43-year-old presenter said: “There is nothing more exciting than hosting live TV on a Saturday night. Theshow is naturally very close to my heart, after having hosted it for eight years. “I’m excited to be back.” Let’s hope this year marks a return to form for the onetime Saturday night ratings juggernaut, and that the show, like some of its winners, still has The X Factor.