The X Factor is back – here’s everything you need to know

The X Factor is back – here’s everything you need to know
Pictured: Robbie Williams, Ayda Field, Dermot O'Leary, Louis Tomlinson and Simon Cowell on the new X Factor panel. (Photo: From Thames/Syco)

By Alex Finnis

X Factor bosses have announced when the show will be returning to our screens – and it’s very, very soon.

The talent show will kick off its 15th series on Saturday 1 September at 8pm on ITV with a brand new judging line-up.

Simon Cowell will be joined by Robbie Williams, Williams’ wife and Loose Women panellist Ayda Field and One Direction’s Louis Tomlinson.

Sharon Osbourne is also returning as a judge, but only for the live shows.

Return of a fan favourite

The show announced its return date along with a teaser video posted on social media on Thursday morning – and it signals a comeback for one of last year’s fan favourites.

Anthony Russell was forced to drop out at the bootcamp stage last year for personal reasons, but is back for another crack at stardom.

He auditioned for the last series with a black eye, but looks totally healthy and raring to go this time around.

Anthony Russell was forced to drop out of last year's competition
Anthony Russell was forced to drop out of last year’s competition (Photo: ITV)

What’s new for 2018?

One rumoured change for this series is the introduction of a golden X that each judge can use once, automatically sending a contestant through to the judges’ houses stage.

If it goes ahead it would be a move pinched from fellow ITV talent show Britain’s Got Talent, but would add an extra element of excitement to the audition stages.

Another big change is that auditions were held abroad this year, for the first time ever.

While we’re used to auditions taking place up and down the country, this year hopefuls in Benidorm and Tenerife in Spain were given a shot at wowing the judges.

What’s staying the same?

Despite losing Louis Walsh and Nicole Scherzinger as judges, this year’s X Factor will otherwise be pretty much the same show we know and love.

Dermot O’Leary is back as the host, while we can also expect the return of the six-chair challenge and guest judges making an appearance at the judges’ houses stage.

With Louis Tomlinson now on the panel, could we see another fellow 1Der join him?

Originally published on our sister title, iNews