Belfast Telegraph

Barlow agrees on return to X Factor

Gary Barlow has signed up to return for a second series of The X Factor, it has been confirmed.

The Take That star - who has also been working on Diamond Jubilee celebrations - said he was "thrilled" to be back on the judging panel.

He joins Louis Walsh who has already announced he will be taking part in the 2012 series.

Gary, who mentored last year's runner-up Marcus Collins in the ITV1 show, said: "I'm thrilled to be back and really looking forward to working with The X Factor team again. The fact that a superstar could just walk out on that stage is very exciting."

Open auditions for the next series have already been held ahead of the judges sitting in for the next stage of the contest. Wannabes can also apply through Facebook for the first time.

Simon Cowell said of the signing: "Gary has earned his place and I'm excited to be working with him again."

ITV's director of television Peter Fincham said: "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."

This year hopefuls can enter regardless of whether they have management deals.

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