Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 16 April 2014

Gary Barlow 'to be X Factor judge'

Take That star Gary Barlow is reportedly a new judge on the UK's version of X Factor

Take That star Gary Barlow has been "confirmed" as a judge on the new series of The X Factor, according to reports.

The singer will take the place of Simon Cowell, who is fronting the show in the United States.

Cowell, who spoke to reporters as he arrived for filming of the US show, said: "Gary Barlow is the first person confirmed."

It is thought Barlow will be joined by returning judges Dannii Minogue and Louis Walsh on the ITV1 show. He will have to fit in filming between dates on Take That's sell-out tour, which begins on May 27 at Sunderland's Stadium Of Light.

A show insider said no contracts had been signed by any of the judges. Mounting speculation has seen several names put forward as possible judges, including Lily Allen and Strictly Come Dancing star Alesha Dixon.

A spokeswoman for the show said: "We will announce the full line-up for The X Factor very soon."

It was announced last week that Girls Aloud star Cheryl Cole will accompany Cowell on the American version of the talent show, leaving one more position to be filled on the UK judging panel.

Meanwhile, Cole has declared her accent will be no problem for American audiences - and said viewers will get used to it.

There had been fears that her strong Geordie twang could prove too difficult for a new audience in the States. But, as she attended her first audition in Los Angeles, she said she was not worried about the issue.

Cole said: "Americans can always understand me. I've been here a lot, I've got a lot of American friends and we have the odd moments where they're like 'What? - What did that mean?' - you know, a phrase. But I think that it's going to be something that people get used to. And I'm proud of my accent."