ITV has confirmed former Spice Girl Mel B is joining The X Factor this year.
It had been speculated for months that Mel B was in the running to take the fourth and final seat on the judging panel. This year sees the return of X Factor creator Simon Cowell and Cheryl Cole, who were last on the show together in 2010. Irish music manager Louis Walsh will also be back despite claiming last year would be his last.
Mel B previously appeared on the show in 2012 as a guest judge. Scary Spice has also made a name for herself on X Factor in Australia and America’s Got Talent. It was rumoured that it was a battle between Mel B and Britain’s Got Talent judge Alesha Dixon for the role.
“I’m so excited to be joining The X Factor – I loved being a guest judge back in 2012. I’ve always thought honesty is the best policy when being a judge and that’s what I’m going to bring more of this year – whether it’s spotting an incredible singer, giving someone a reality check or debating with Simon over who’s got it wrong! Now I can’t wait to get started and find some amazing talent.” – Mel B
It has also been confirmed that Dermot O’Leary is returning to host. O’Leary says he will have his “hands full” with the judges this year. The return of Simon and Cheryl comes after ratings have declined over the past three years.
“I am thrilled that Mel B has agreed to be a judge on The X Factor this year. I thought she was fantastic as a guest judge a couple of years ago. She is feisty, opinionated and, I believe, will be a great mentor.” – Simon Cowell
Filming for the new series begins next week with an audition tour taking place in four cities across the UK – Manchester, London, Newcastle and Edinburgh. X Factor returns to ITV later this year.