Belfast Telegraph

Sharon Osbourne confirmed for X Factor return

Sharon Osbourne will return to British television screens as a judge on The X Factor, joining Nicole Scherzinger, Simon Cowell and Louis Walsh on the this year's panel of the ITV talent show.

Sharon Osbourne has been confirmed as a judge on this year's The X Factor.

The 63-year-old's involvement in the upcoming series of the ITV talent show has long been rumoured, but the problems in her marriage to rocker Ozzy led to speculation that she may pull out.

However, on television show Good Morning Britain on Wednesday (01June16), the line-up for the 2016 series was confirmed, with Sharon front and centre on the panel.

Sharon will be joined by former Pussycat Dolls star Nicole Scherzinger, as well as music mogul Simon Cowell and Irish pop master Louis Walsh, who spent a decade as a judge from 2004 to 2014.

In a statement following the news, Sharon said: "I’m overjoyed about going back to The X Factor, sitting with Lou, Lou, gorgeous Nicole and naughty Simon. But most of all, I can’t wait to meet (Simon's) baby Eric.”

This year's series will also mark the first time Sharon and Louis have been reunited as judges since they were on the panel of the 2013 show. They were also among the original judges of the show.

Louis was absent on last year's series (15), but said he was thrilled to be back, adding: "He’d say otherwise but I knew Simon missed me last year! I’m delighted to be back on the panel especially beside my two favourite female judges Sharon and Nicole."

Nicole won over viewers with her eccentric sense of humour when she appeared as a judge on the 2012 and 2013 series of the show. Her return to this year's show has caused controversy, as she had to pull out of a scheduled gig in the Broadway production of Cats to do so, but she insisted she is looking forward to her comeback.

"I can’t wait to be back in the U.K. and on the show with the best judges sitting alongside me on the panel," she smiled. "I'm excited about discovering, mentoring and winning with an exciting new act this year. And having had winning contestants in the past, Simon knows I will do it."

Simon is sure to be hoping that the return of Sharon, Louis and Nicole will help boost The X Factor's fall in popularity.

Last year pop star Rita Ora and British radio DJ Nick Grimshaw joined the panel in a bid to reverse The X Factor's flagging fortunes, but the pair have since departed the show along with British pop star Cheryl.

The X Factor will return to British TV channel ITV1 later this year, with auditions taking place over the summer and live shows beginning in the autumn.

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