X Factor brings back Sharon Osbourne, Nicole Scherzinger and Louis Walsh as judges

The X Factor has brought back judges from years gone by to join Simon Cowell after last year's series saw a ten-year slump in audience ratings.

Sharon Osbourne: appeared on The X Factor when it launched in 2004
Sharon Osbourne: appeared on The X Factor when it launched in 2004

The judging panel for the show, which will begin filming its 12th series later this month, will see the return of Sharon Osbourne, Nicole Sherzinger and Louis Walsh alongside Cowell. 

Dermot O’Leary is also returning as the host and The X Factor is also reinstating "room auditions", which had been replaced in recent years with entrants singing to the judges and a live audience.

Last year’s X Factor final hit a ten-year low for audience ratings, with an average of 8.2 million viewers on ITV, which had a 33.9% viewing share, compared to a 43.6% share for Strictly Come Dancing on BBC One.

Osbourne was one of the original X Factor judges, appearing on the panel from 2004 to 2007. Cowell launched the show in 2004 after starring as a judge on Pop Idol, the talent show created by Simon Fuller in 2011.

Last year’s show was hosted by Olly Murs and Caroline Flack, while the judging panel comprised Cowell and Radio 1 breakfast presenter Nick Grimshaw, alongside singers Rita Ora and Cheryl Fernandez-Versini. 

ITV's director of television, Kevin Lygo, said: "Simon, Sharon, Louis and Nicole – they’re a formidable judging panel by anyone’s standards.

"With Dermot hosting and the return of the audition rooms, there’s a lot to look forward to this series, as we welcome back one of our biggest entertainment brands."

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