The Take That star – who has also been busying himself with preparations for the Golden Jubilee celebrations – said he was “thrilled” to be back on the team.
Barlow mentored Marcus Collins into second place last year and is hoping to find another top notch act this year and said: “I’m thrilled to be back and really looking forward toÂ working with The X Factor team again. The fact that a superstar could just walk out on that stage is very exciting.”
Hoards of tone-deaf hopefuls have already been flooding into the open audition sessions, which have been held all over the country. And for the first time ever, warbling wannabes were able to audition for the show via Facebook. Gawd help us. With the filtering process complete, the staged judge bloodbath will soon be ready to begin.
As ever Louis seems to think he will be guaranteed a spot on the panel, but according to Simon Cowell – this is the first confirmed judge for next series.Â He said: âItâs great to be able to confirm our first judge for this yearâs show. Gary has earned his place and I’m excited to be working with him again.”
ITV’s director of television Peter Fincham echoed Cowellâs enthusiasm: “Gary quickly established himself as a key member of the X Factor judging panel, drawing on his years of experience in the music industry to help in the search for our undiscovered singing stars.”
But the beleaguered media mogul – who has already suffered ratings blows to his Saturday night talent show competition Britainâs Got Talent – will surely be keen to take viewersâ opinions of âboringâ Barlow on board. At the end of last series he admitted that Gary came across as âtoo scriptedâ? – so itâs probably safe to say we will be introduced to a whole new Barlow this year: get ready for Mr Charisma.