Belfast Telegraph

Louis Tomlinson ‘feels duty of care’ to help new acts as former X Factor star

The One Direction star has eight years of experience under his belt since finding fame on the series.

Louis Tomlinson has said he feels he has a “duty of care” for the contestants on The X Factor having started on the show himself.

Tomlinson, one of the judges for the new series, made his name on the ITV show in 2010 as a member of One Direction.

The singer is the first former X Factor star to have a permanent judging panel role, and he said it was “as surreal for me as the contestants auditioning” on the first day of filming auditions.

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One Direction found fame on X Factor (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

He added: “I think it also helps having me there, I don’t think they have ever had anyone on the panel who has auditioned for the show.

“I feel a duty of care, I want to help people out.”

One Direction was put together by Simon Cowell, who saw the potential in Tomlinson and Harry Styles, Liam Payne, Zayn Malik and Niall Horan, each of whom had auditioned as solo singers.

He formed the five-piece group during the bootcamp stage of the competition and, although the group came in third place overall, they have become the most successful act to ever come from the show.

Tomlinson is working on his solo career while One Direction are on hiatus, but during the filming of the TV talent show, he marked the eighth anniversary of the boy band.

On how life has changed since One Direction was created, Tomlinson said: “All our lives changed completely that day, that’s the magic of this show.

“It’s always been the power of this show that one audition can totally change your life.”

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Robbie Williams, Ayda Williams, Louis Tomlinson and Simon Cowell (Ian West/PA)

He also said it “wasn’t that hard” for Cowell to convince him to join the panel, admitting that he had long been a fan of the show before he was on it himself.

“I think it was maybe two or three years ago that I started coming down to the show of my own accord and helped Simon with his acts on routining days in the studio,” he added.

“I found that really exciting. So as soon as I realised I could do both my own music and judge at the same time, it was a bit of a no brainer for me.”

Tomlinson said he is “relishing” the pressure of mentoring acts in a public arena, and that he is keen on “trying to use my experience” to help new artists.

Singer Robbie Williams and his wife Ayda complete the judging panel for the new series, alongside Cowell.

The X Factor begins on Saturday and Sunday at 8pm on ITV.

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