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'New generation' of X Factor judges

Published 16/06/2015

DJ Nick Grimshaw is joining the X Factor's judging panel
DJ Nick Grimshaw is joining the X Factor's judging panel

The X Factor has unveiled a "new generation" of judges after announcing that Radio 1 breakfast show host Nick Grimshaw and singer Rita Ora will join Simon Cowell and Cheryl Fernandez-Versini as judges in the next series.

The line-up has been rumoured for months, but Cowell confirmed the news today, saying: " It 's taken a while! But I am very happy to be able to confirm our line-up of judges for the X Factor this year.

"The combination of Nick, Cheryl and Rita is going to be a lot of fun! They all bring a lot of enthusiasm and passion for music to the show.

"I have a feeling I am in for a bit of a rough time but sometimes you have to embrace the craziness and now, with luck, we hope to find a star."

Ora, who had a stint as a guest judge on the show three years ago, has had hits including How We Do (Party) and R.I.P. but has been seen more recently as a judge on rival BBC show The Voice.

She said she was "excited" to be returning.

She said: "This is a journey I can't wait to embark on to find some talented singers. It's the new generation taking over."

It is not the first time Cowell has poached talent from his BBC rivals, notably taking Alesha Dixon from Strictly Come Dancing to Britain's Got Talent.

He has also gone to the BBC for Grimshaw, but it is expected the DJ will stay at the helm of Radio 1's flagship show while working on X Factor.

He took over from Chris Moyles three years ago but has lost hundreds of thousands of listeners as the station has attempted to attract a younger audience.

Grimshaw said: " I love X Factor and have watched the series religiously since it started, so obviously I'm hugely excited to be joining the show.

"Music is my job and my passion and I'm really looking forward to seeing what talent we can find and nurture this year. I can't wait for Judges' Houses in Oldham."

The new judges take the place of show veteran Louis Walsh and former Spice Girl Mel B, who sat on the panel last year.

Cowell added: "The best-kept secret in TV is out!! But I am really happy with the new judging line-up for X Factor this year. It's going to be a lot of fun.

"We met a lot of people. I really believe everyone on the show this year is excited about finding someone who has star potential.

"We have always had great judges. And I will always be thankful for their passion and expertise.

" I have no idea what the show will look like but I feel both excited and nervous. It's going to be very different! Embrace the madness..."

A spokesperson for The Voice said: "Rita Ora was a fantastic coach on The Voice UK. We wish her well with all her future endeavours.

"The Voice UK continues to be a huge hit with BBC viewers and will return in 2016."

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