There was a "real sense of excitement" at the latest round of X Factor auditions, as hundreds of singing hopefuls formed a long queue in a bid to become the next big star.
Host Dermot O'Leary greeted eager wannabes and posed for photographs at the London auditions, where a large crowd had gathered in the sunshine.
The presenter said he was as enthusiastic about the show - now in its tenth series - as ever, and believed it was all down to the new people he met every year.
"You just get surprised all the time. The crowd are always brilliant," he said.
"Football fans will tell you, it's like the third round of the FA cup or the first game of the season.
"You've got a real sense of excitement. You meet people you've never met before and in all walks of life as well. There's so many characters - that's why I love it," he said.
Dermot said he saw the popular television programme as both an entertainment show and a serious singing competition, and defended acts from previous years who did not go on to have dazzling careers.
"For me the most important thing is to make a good entertainment show and that's my job.
"You look at acts that haven't sold as well as you hoped they would, but they've all done pretty well."
Aspiring stars sang and danced in the car park of the ExCel Centre in east London as they warmed up for their moment in front of the judges.