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BBC look into the world of The X Factor


BBC look into the world of The X Factor

Exploring the fame, the fortune and the fallout…

BBC News reporter Chi Chi Izundu looks back at ITV’s talent show The X Factor in a six-part podcast – Offstage: Inside The X Factor, launching on Saturday 27 January on BBC Radio 4.

Chi Chi Izundu:

“The X Factor was on our screens for 15 years and became a cultural phenomenon. Every year tens of thousands of people applied to get on the show, with some catapulted to stardom overnight. I wanted to know what happened to some of those X Factor contestants after their brief flirt with fame.”

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the launch of The X Factor which became one of Britain’s biggest TV shows. At its height, the weekly search for a star format drew audiences of nearly 17 million. It sometimes turned ordinary people into superstars, but what was it like behind the scenes? Offstage: Inside The X Factor explores the emotion and drama of the programme and considers what led to its enduring success.

The podcast looks beyond the glitz and glamour to find out the reality of being a contestant on the Thames Television/Syco Entertainment production Featuring contributions from contestants and former staff, Chi lifts the lid on the show and reveals the joy and heartbreak of those looking for fame and fortune.

Chi Chi’s once-upon-a-time job was to cover every twist and turn of The X Factor as a Radio 1 Newsbeat showbiz journalist. In this podcast, she explores the contestants’ journey from auditions through to the live shows and asks what happened after the cameras stopped rolling. Speaking for the first time, former staff share insider stories about one of the most successful ITV shows in British history, which created some of the world’s biggest superstars.

Despite not being on our screens since 2018, the series also hears how social media has played a part in bringing old auditions to a new generation.

Rhian Roberts, Commissioner Podcasts, Formats & Digital, BBC Radio 4, 3 and 4 Extra:

“In Offstage: Inside The X Factor, the team will share stories from behind the scenes, lifting the lid on the surreal X factor journey. Chi Chi’s podcast series is an insightful exploration of reality tv and pop culture, unpicking the contestant journey from start to finish.”

Episodes will be broadcast on Radio 4 weekly on Saturdays at 11.30pm, beginning on Saturday 27 January. Episodes will also be available to listen to on BBC Sounds from Friday 26 January.

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