Fan Favourite Returning To X Factor

March 26, 2014 by  
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Pop sensation Cheryl Cole is to return to The X Factor judging panel, reuniting her with her ‘frenemy’, X Factor creator Simon Cowell.

One of the UK’s most successful female recording artists, Cheryl has notched up an impressive three number one singles, two number one albums, and a sold out arena tour. As a member of Girls Aloud, Cheryl achieved 20 top ten singles, four number ones and five platinum albums as well as winning a BRIT award.

Cheryl was a judge on The X Factor from series five to series seven, winning the nation over with her heartfelt and honest style, whilst securing victory in two consecutive years – in 2008 with Alexandra Burke and 2009 with Joe McElderry.

Speaking of her return Cheryl Cole said, “I’m very happy and excited to be returning to The X Factor. I’m inspired and ready to find new talent and potential pop stars. It’s going to be a fun series.”

Simon Cowell, who confirmed his return to the UK show last month, said, “I am so happy that Cheryl has agreed to join The X Factor again. The last time we worked together in the UK was incredible and produced some really successful artists. Obviously the plan is to do the same again… so it’s back to work!”

A Decade In TV: Yesterday’s Babies

March 3, 2014 by  
Filed under Features


It feels only yesterday that we were in the year 2004; a time that saw television in a separate landscape than it’s in today. BBC iPlayer was something of a fantasy, digital television was still a work in progress and broadcast networks in America ruled television with an iron fist.

This time ten years ago, American network ABC took the first steps in reversing their fledging fortunes with new ground-breaking shows, a cult British actor made the jump to a television superstar, and an emerging media mogul launched a television phenomenon that revolutionized British television for the rest of the decade.

These are just some of the shows launched ten years ago which went on to make an immediate impact in British & American television. I’ll be taking a look at five unique shows that are still having an influence on television minds today.

(1) The X Factor – ITV – 2004-Present
Simon Cowell took a personal risk in late 2003 to bring in a new music show, in his bid to wipe the smile off Simon Fuller’s face, following their unhappy time working together on Pop Idol. The result made Simon Cowell one of the biggest and most famous media moguls of the 21st century. The X Factor has been at the centre of Cowell’s personal music revolution across the world, creating new stars such as Leona Lewis & One Direction.

(2) Strictly Come Dancing – BBC One – 2004-Present
ITV weren’t the only channel taking risks in 2004. BBC One took on one too, reviving the age old ballroom dancing format with a selection of changes to guarantee a new audience for the show. Bruce Forsyth signified his career re-emergence by hosting the show, as well as providing a fresh challenge for a variety of celebrities in Britain and abroad.

(3) The Apprentice – NBC/BBC One – 2004-Present
Billed in the U.S as “The Ultimate Job Interview”, Donald Trump’s business reality show launched a new sub-genre in reality television, making the format a fortune around the world, and making Sir Alan Sugar a household name in the process. It also spun a spin off entitled Junior Apprentice, but sadly did not match The Apprentice’s huge following.

(4) Lost/Desperate Housewives – ABC – 2004-2010/2012
Prior to 2004, American network ABC was trailing behind in 4th place behind competing networks FOX, CBS & NBC in both ratings and popular programming. Through clever scheduling and commissioning of major new pilots, fall 2004 saw ABC bounce back with major new offerings such as Ugly Betty & Grey’s Anatomy. But it was JJ Abrams’s Lost & Marc Cherry’s Desperate Housewives that helped ABC bounce back in ratings and made worldwide stars out of Matthew Fox & Evangeline Lily, as well as reigniting Teri Hatcher’s career.

(5) House – FOX – 2004-2012
Before this show, Hugh Laurie was only known for his comedy and family roles, with a small niche audience mainly in Britain. But his role as Dr.Gregory House gained him a new legion of fans, and started the idea that anyone from the acting world in Britain could gain success in the States, whether it was only small TV roles, or the lead in a Shakespearian play. Following its debut, House became an international success for FOX and took Hugh Laurie’s career into an entirely new direction.

Cowell Back To Terrorise Wannabes

February 10, 2014 by  
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ITV and Simon Cowell are delighted to announce that he is to return to the UK X Factor in Autumn 2014. Cowell will lead the judging panel for its 11th series later this year.

Simon, the creator of The X Factor, returns to the UK X Factor after three years in the US working on the American version of the hit worldwide show.

The record label executive says: “I’m absolutely thrilled to be returning to The X Factor UK. It’s been three years since I last judged the competition and I’m excited to find a global superstar again.”

“The UK X Factor has set the benchmark in finding worldwide superstars over the years – including One Direction, Leona Lewis, Cher Lloyd, Olly Murs , JLS and Little Mix.” Simon continued: “Despite all the rumours, ITV and the producers have not decided on the rest of the judging panel quite yet. You’ll just have to wait and see…”

The rest of the UK X Factor judging panel will be announced in the coming months and the judges auditions are due to start in June.

X Factor Fact: Stars that have emerged from the X Factor have sold more than 150 million records to date, making the show incomparable in its success versus rival talent shows.

I Can’t Sing – featuring Simon Cowell

December 18, 2013 by  
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I Can’t Sing! The X Factor Musical

Featuring a host of characters who may seem oddly familiar, this brand new production looks like it could be something for both X Factor lovers and haters.

Olivier Award-winner Nigel Harman will play X Factor supremo Simon, with Cynthia Erivo and Alan Morrissey as lovestruck contestants Chenice and Max. Joining Nigel on the judging panel will be Ashley Knight as the ever-positive boyband manager Louis and Victoria Elliot as pop queen Jordy. Simon Bailey will play the overly affectionate X Factor host Liam O’Deary, with Billy Carter as Executive Producer and Simon’s right hand man, Gerard Smalls. Simon Lipkin plays Chenice’s faithful canine sidekick Barlow and Joe Speare is her iron-lung bound Grandad.

Written by BAFTA award-winning comedian Harry Hill and with music and lyrics by Steve Brown (Spend, Spend, Spend; Spitting Image; TV Burp), I Can’t Sing! is co-produced by the patron saint of fame himself, Simon Cowell.

Harry Hill said “I worked with a lot of our cast in the workshops for I Can’t Sing! and we have some brilliant new faces too. I’m thrilled with the acting company we have on board – and it’s a coup to have Nigel Harman as Simon. He was so funny in Shrek the Musical – not so much in Downton. With the wig and teeth he looks more like Simon, than Simon.”

Opening at the London Palladium on Wednesday 26 March 2014, with previews from Thursday 27 February 2014

See more at:

X Factor Live Final Guests Announced

December 2, 2013 by  
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As this year’s X Factor draws to a close with the series spectacular Live Final at Wembley Arena, a whole host of A list musical superstars and pop icons have been lined up to perform and celebrate the biggest night in music television.

In a worldwide exclusive X Factor’s very own Gary Barlow will be joined by Britain’s biggest music icon, platinum-selling and multi award winning Elton John, to perform their new single ‘Face to Face’.

Joining them will be global superstar Katy Perry, who wowed audiences earlier in the series with her performance of her hit single ‘Roar’. For the final she will be singing her latest track ‘Unconditionally’. Global phenomenon One Direction also return to the show where it all started for them, celebrating a whirlwind year having achieved massive global success; including 35 million worldwide music sales, a No. 1 Box Office movie and a whole host of awards. The boys will perform their brand new single ‘Midnight Memories’.

Completing the star studded line up are international smash hit stadium rock band The Killers, who will be performing some of their most loved hits ‘Mr Brightside’ and ‘Human’, and singer-songwriter Tom Odell, who will crown off a year which started with him winning this year’s BRITs Critics Choice Award and then saw his debut album reach No 1.

The X Factor Live Final takes place across Saturday 14th and Sunday 15th December. The Killers and Tom Odell will perform on Saturday, with Gary Barlow and Elton John, Katy Perry and One Direction performing on Sunday.

10 Years of X Factor

November 20, 2013 by  
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This week the X Factor is celebrating its 10th birthday. On Saturday the remaining finalists will be celebrating the best of The X Factor, from the most memorable performances on the show, to hit singles released by past contestants.

This mashup featuring Olly Murs, One Direction, Little Mix, Joe McElderry, Leona Lewis and a host of others.

There will also be a special performance from platinum selling artist and X Factors’ very own heartthrob Olly Murs.

Where Will GaGa Go Nude Next?

October 29, 2013 by  
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lady gaga x factor

Following more than 150 complaints about her performance on X Factor, where she donned only two sea shells and a pair of flesh coloured pants, Lady Gaga seems to singing from the same hymn sheet as Miley Cyrus that says less is definitely more; when it comes to clothes that is.

After incurring the pre-watershed wrath of parents everywhere Paddy Power are offering odds of 8/1 that Lady Gaga’s antics will lead to a UK terrestrial channel TV ban in the future.

Not satisfied with just enraging X Factor viewers, Lady Gaga went one step further, shunning even the shells in favour of going completely naked at G.A.Y on the weekend. This led Paddy Power to question where she will turn up in the buff next.

A gay club in New York is the most likely at 4/1, or giving stressed out commuters an eyeful on the London Underground at 50/1. However, it looks like Tess Daly can breathe a sigh of relief, as it is an unlikely 100/1 Gaga will be giving the audience a Brucie Bonus on Strictly Come Dancing anytime soon.

A spokesperson for Paddy Power said, “Never one to shy away from controversy, London didn’t know what hit it when Gaga rolled into town. The Paddy Power team are worried that it is starting to get a bit nippy though, and are looking into the odds that someone will buy poor Gaga a coat…”

Where will Lady Gaga go naked next?

4/1 New York gay club
16/1 The Hollywood Sign, LA
33/1 American Idol
33/1 Piers Morgan Live
33/1 Superbowl Show
40/1 Statue of Liberty
40/1 Eiffel Tower
40/1 Mount Rushmore
50/1 London Underground
50/1 Fourth Plinth
100/1 Strictly Come Dancing

Caroline Flack to Present Backstage on X Factor Live

October 7, 2013 by  
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The Xtra Factor host Caroline Flack is to present backstage links on this year’s X Factor live shows, complementing Dermot O’Leary’s key role as main presenter front of house.

Caroline will be chatting backstage – talking to contestants before they perform, and capturing the excitement and nerves behind the scenes.

Dermot O’Leary, The X Factor’s main host, will continue to preside over proceedings, ensuring the audience at home, and in the studio, get the full live X Factor experience. He’ll keep the judges in check; provide a steadying presence for hopeful contestants, as each gets their turn in spotlight; and, as ever, he’ll get the immediate reaction from each competitor after their performances.

Dermot said: “It’s a big family at The X Factor and I’m thrilled to have Caroline on board on the main show. She is my TV little sister and she’ll be great.”

Caroline said: “I can’t wait to help out Dermot on The X Factor and share all the backstage antics with people at home. Live shows this year are going to be the best yet.”

Caroline will continue to host The Xtra Factor with comedian Matt Richardson.

Historical figures who’d make great X Factor Judges.

July 8, 2013 by  
Filed under Features


As The X Factor goes the way of every reality TV show before it, maybe it’s time to inject some new blood into its stiffening corpse. The format has become a parody of itself, the acts are getting worse, and the quality of the judges has never recovered since Cowell ordered Louis Walsh’s assassination.

At this rate, even the presence of long-dead historical figures on the panel would liven things up. Here’s our choice of the best three candidates.


Vlad The Impaler

Proud wearer of a natty moustache and scraggly black hair, he’s easily mistaken for Russell Brand by channel-hoppers, something that’ll surely bring in a few thousand more viewers every week.

The real draw, however, is his exceptional cruelty. An anti-Vlad pamphlet from 1521 warns readers, “He let children be roasted; those, their mothers were forced to eat. And (he) cut off the breasts of women; those, their husbands were forced to eat. After that, he had them all impaled”.

Now, who doesn’t want to see an off-key boyband from Milton Keynes forced to cannibalise each other on a Saturday night? His penchant for murder might be an issue when the show progresses into the later rounds, but we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.


Oscar Wilde

Britain’s Got Talent has already shown that having a verbose camp guy on the panel is a good thing – Walliams has been a huge hit for the show’s ratings. And in the increasingly plaigarised format changes that the two shows are going through, Wilde would fit right in. But probably not next to Louis Walsh.

Audiences used to love Cowell’s funny put-downs – imagine how they’d react to the biting insults of Victorian London’s greatest wits. At the very least, it would add a bit of culture to the ITV Saturday night schedule.


Aleister Crowley

18th century occultist and opium-eater Crowley would fill the ‘bad guy’ hole in the panel left by Simon Cowell perfectly. Gary Barlow’s making a decent effort, but it’s just not the same. Contestants are going to be far more intimidated by a man who was often called “the wickedest man in the world” than an ex-boyband member who looks like a fat Northern baby.

A womanizer, drug addict and cult member, he’s pure tabloid fodder. A quiet night in for Crowley will give the show weeks of free publicity on MailOnline. His extensive experience with the dark arts will surely help him overcome whatever demon has possessed Nicole Scherzinger as well. Really, the perfect candidate.

The X Factor Returns…With A Familiar Face

May 22, 2013 by  
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The nation’s most talked about entertainment show is back with a bang for 2013 with a new addition to the judging panel and brand new double auditions.

Rock royalty Sharon Osbourne makes a triumphant return to the show, joining Take That superstar Gary Barlow, US pop star Nicole Scherzinger and boyband manager Louis Walsh in the search for the nation’s next big singing sensation.

Outspoken and unpredictable Sharon was one of the original X Factor judges from 2004-2007 and has more than 30 years’ experience in the music industry, managing some of the biggest bands in rock.

And in the first of an exciting range of new changes for the 10th series of The X Factor, hopefuls will – for the first time ever – have to tackle two sets of auditions. First, they will face the judges eyeball to eyeball in an intimate audition room.

If they receive three or more yeses here they will then have to perform for the judges once more, this time in an arena, to prove they can also impress an audience before securing a coveted place at the next stage in the competition.

Speaking of the new series, Simon Cowell says: “Three words I never thought I’d say…. Welcome back Sharon!”

Talking about her return Sharon Osbourne says: “I couldn’t be happier about coming back for the 10th anniversary of X factor. I can’t wait to give Gary Barlow a big hug, sit next to the gorgeous Nicole, and of course throw water on dear Louis. Yay!?

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