Simon Cowell may not have been present for last night’s opening live episode of The X Factor, but there were plenty of old faces around.
Not least among them was Cheryl, who was in the audience watching events unfold.
She was there partly to carry on her role from the judges’ houses round, but also to support boyfriend Liam Payne.
Liam, a former contestant as part of One Direction, was on the show to perform his latest single, Bedroom Floor, and host Dermot O’ Leary couldn’t resist grabbing a quick chat with the star.
Dermot, who introduced 24 year old Liam as a ‘borderline over’ in a cheeky reference to Liam’s age nudging him towards the older category of contestant, had plenty of questions for Liam on opening night.
Liam spoke about his memories of the show’s first live performance of the series and revealed that it was a nerve- wracking experience for him back in 2010.
“The sliding doors; when you come from behind the doors, you’re thinking, ‘Oh my God, there are millions of people watching from behind that camera and you just don’t know what to do with yourself,” he confessed.
“But you have to take a deep breath and pretend everyone ‘aint there and just sell it down the camera,” he continued.
Referring to his run on The X factor with One Direction that took the band to the final stage where they lost out to runner- up Rebecca Ferguson and winner Matt Cardle, Liam said he was always first up.
“I was always the starter,” he recalled. “That was my job in One Direction when we were first on the show.”
And his advice to those experiencing the same nerves as he did back then?
“Just close your eyes and do it, just go for it,” he said.
Dermot went on to ask Liam which acts he was backing in this year’s show, and while the host admitted that it was ‘slightly awkward’ because they were all in the studio, Liam didn’t hold back.
“I would have to say Cutkelvins have done really well,” Liam said of the group made up of Scottish siblings Jay, Sheereen and Kay.
He also singled outRai- Elle Williams for praise, saying:
“I think Rai- Elle did a great job of opening the show. There were a lot of stairs to deal with there.”
But it was Liam’s final comment on the contestants that raised eyebrows, when he pointed to Myles Stephenson and said:
“Obviously he fancies my missus so I’ve got to watch out for him.”
Myles, of group Rak- Su, had confessed to liking Cheryl and was teased about it by Simon Cowell when Cheryl was helping him in the judges’ houses round.
Cheryl had politely told Myles: “I’m taken – sorry.”
Of course that wasn’t enough for Simon, who went on to say: “Trust me on this show anything can happen.”
Still, Charyl hadn’t let Simon’s cheeky behaviour annoy her too much, because, when Dermot sat down foe a chat with her later on in the show, she had a touching message for the missing X Factor boss.
“First of all I really miss you Simon, I know you’ll be watching at home,” she said. “You’re very, very missed and we love you.”
Liam certainly didn’t seem serious either, laughing and winking as he spoke about Myles. Let’s just hope it stays that way!