X Factor finally confirms judging line-up for 2018 series

It's a whole new look for the ITV talent show!

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X Factor has confirmed the new judging line-up is Simon Cowell, Louis Tomlinson, Robbie Williams and Ayda Field.

Louis, Robbie and Ayda all attended an X Factor press conference on Tuesday following months of speculation over who would join Simon on the judges’ table later this year.

Louis Tomlinson, Judges attend X Factor Press Conference
Louis at the press conference (Credit: Phil Lewis/Wenn)

Louis, 26, certainly has the experience given he started off on X Factor himself back in 2010, when he auditioned as a solo artist and was put into the newly-formed One Direction.

Robbie, 44, meanwhile, has experience as both a hugely successful solo artist and part of Take That.

Read more: Gary Barlow’s warning to Robbie Williams over X Factor

Robbie Williams and Ayda Field, Judges attend X Factor Press Conference
Ayda and Robbie at the press conference in London on Tuesday (Credit: Wenn/Phil Lewis)

The less expected signing is Robbie’s wife Ayda, 39, best known to many as a Loose Women panellist, although she’s also enjoyed a career as an actress.

X Factor said she brings “invaluable experience” to the panel about how the music industry works.

Simon said: “This new panel is all about optimism, everyone has a real passion for finding a new star. The three new judges bring a whole new energy and I’m excited.”

The new line-up was revealed to the media at a press conference at Somerset House.

Louis said: “The X Factor for me made a lot of sense. Development of artists is something I’ve been interested in for a long time. Having been on the show myself I know first-hand that the live shows are like nothing else you would experience. I’m looking forward to guiding auditonees through the process.”

Robbie agreed: “For nearly 30 years I’ve been touring. I’ve been wanting to branch out and The X Factor felt like the perfect vehicle. Ayda is my rock, she’s looked after me through thick and thin. I’m looking forward to getting started as a judge!”

Sharon will return to judge the live shows, not the auditions (Credit: ITV)

Ayda said: “On a professional level I’ve auditioned for years so I know the highs and lows. I know what it takes to help people achieve their dreams. It’s all about the auditionees, it’s an organic process. The fact I get to work with Rob and against him is fantastic!”

Meanwhile, former judge Sharon Osbourne will return as a judge for the live shows, not the pre-filmed auditions.

The judging panel has had a huge shake-up this year after Louis Walsh announced he had quit the show last month.

Louis, 65, appeared on all but one of the talent show’s series since it began in 2004.

ITV announced earlier this year that changes to the judging panel “signal the beginning of a new era for the UK’s most popular music talent show”.

X Factor returns to ITV this autumn.

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