X Factor judges hold high X-pectations of the north


THE X Factor judges are hoping to discover northern talent this year as auditions for the show’s 11th series kicked off this week in Manchester.

Hundreds of fans gathered at Emirates Old Trafford on Monday to catch a glimpse of the recently revamped judging panel, which now consists of ex-judges Simon Cowell and Cheryl Cole, the ever-present Louis Walsh, and new addition Mel B, who previously filled in for Nicole Scherzinger in the last series.

Leeds-born Spice Girl, Mel B said she was glad to be in the north to mark the start of the X Factor auditions and after naming Manchester as her ‘old stomping ground’ she added she was confident in the north’s ability to win the competition.

Listen here to Mel B’s interview…

Fellow judge Louis Walsh, who has been on the ITV talent show since day one, added “There is always talent in Manchester”, and he isn’t far wrong with the city well-known for its long history of music with the likes of Oasis, Joy Division and The Smiths, to name but a few.

Listen here to Louis Walsh’s interview…

Several people clustered around the red carpet in excitement for the launch of the new series and they were particularly interested in seeing the returning Cheryl Cole, who previously left the show back in 2011 to appear on the American version of the singing contest, but then announced her comeback on Instagram saying: “Guess What? I’m back”.

But the crowd were also excited to see Simon Cowell, who was also returning after a three-year absence.

Listen here to Simon Cowell’s interview….

With the X Factor taking a fresh approach with the judges, despite having all been on the show in the past, there has also been some ‘extra’ changes, as BBC Radio 1 Extra DJ Sarah Jane Crawford replaces Caroline Flack on the ITV2 spin-off show, The Extra Factor..

Crawford is the other newbie this year, listen to what she had to say on her first day.

Host, Dermot O’Leary, returns for his eighth series after joining show back in 2007, have a listen to what he said in his interview below…

Take a look at the images taken on the day…

* Images of Cheryl Cole and Louis Walsh taken by PA
By Carlie Foster

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