ITV has confirmed that Nick Grimshaw and Rita Ora will join Cheryl Fernandez-Versini and Simon Cowell on this year’s X Factor judging panel.
Pop star Ora – who featured as a coach on BBC One’s The Voice earlier this year – previously appeared on the show as a guest judge in 2012.
“I am excited to be coming back to The X Factor – I had a ball here in 2012. This is a journey I can’t wait to embark on to find some talented singers. It’s the new generation taking over. Booooom” – Rita Ora
‘Grimmy’ – who has hosted Radio 1’s Breakfast show since 2012 – is a fan of the search-for-a-singer format, ITV note. Appearances in front of the camera include Freshly Squeezed on E4 Music and hosting Sweat The Small Stuff and Children In Need for the beeb.
“I love X Factor and have watched the series religiously since it started, so obviously I’m hugely excited to be joining the show. Music is my job and my passion and I’m really looking forward to seeing what talent we can find and nurture this year. I can’t wait for Judges Houses in Oldham!” – Nick Grimshaw
The pair are replacing Mel B and long-standing judge Louis Walsh on the panel.
Former Girls Aloud member and solo artist Cheryl Fernandez-Versini returns to the production for her fifth series, after taking Lauren Platt all the way to the semi-finals last year.
“I haven’t been as excited about an X Factor season since I first became a judge. The addition of Rita and Grimmy along with some interesting changes we’ve made to the format has refocused us to do what we do best, finding talent and making stars. I cannot wait to get started!” – Cheryl Fernandez-Versini
The X Factor creator Simon Cowell, who mentored last year’s winning contestant, Ben Haenow, as well as the runner up Fleur East, added:
“It’s taken a while! But I am very happy to be able to confirm our line-up of judges for The X Factor this year. The combination of Nick, Cheryl and Rita is going to be a lot of fun! They all bring a lot of enthusiasm and passion for music to the show. I have a feeling I am in for a bit of a rough time but sometimes you have to embrace the craziness and now, with luck, we hope to find a star.”
The panel shake-up is one of a number of changes to this year’s series of the music show, with Caroline Flack and Olly Murs replacing Dermot O’Leary as host. The room auditions have once more been dropped from the format, with hopefuls having to perform in front of an arena audience from the start in the hope of making it through to the next stage. Further changes will be announced in due course.
“We’re delighted that Cheryl is returning to the show with Simon and we welcome Rita and Nick on board. Nick will bring his unique perspective and extensive musical knowledge to this year’s X Factor panel, while in Cheryl and Rita we have two of the UK’s most successful female recording artists.” – ITV’s Director of Entertainment and Comedy, Elaine Bedell
The X Factor returns to ITV in autumn this year.