Thursday 22 February 2018

Osbourne savours X Factor return

Sharon Osbourne at the X Factor press launch
Sharon Osbourne at the X Factor press launch
Nicole Scherzinger
Louis Walsh says this year's series will be his last
Gary Barlow kept it casual at the X Factor launch

Sharon Osbourne said it was "wonderful" to return to The X Factor - as the 10th series launched in London.

The 60-year-old, who left the ITV talent competition in 2008 amidst reports that there was tension with fellow judge Dannii Minogue, has joined Gary Barlow, Nicole Scherzinger and Louis Walsh on the judging panel for the new series, replacing Tulisa Contostavlos.

"It's wonderful, it feels absolutely wonderful to be back. The show is so much fun, it really is," she said on the red carpet at London's Mayfair Hotel.

"I kind of left under a cloud last time around and it wasn't really professional of me - I left two weeks before the show was due to start. It wasn't the right thing to do. So this sort of makes it alright. It's gone full cycle and it ends on a high note."

Sharon - who will mentor the over-25s group - revealed she is responsible for bringing "laughter and fun" to the panel.

"I'm the one that tells all the jokes and I write things on bits of paper - very rude things - and pass it down the desk to the others. So you'll see me do that," she admitted.

Louis, who famously got water thrown over him by Sharon on a previous series, joked there will not be any such incidents this time around.

"You know, Sharon's feisty, she's unpredictable. You never know what she's going to say or do. She won't throw any water, I'm sure she wouldn't. She's older and wiser now - even though she looks younger," said the Irish star, who will be looking after the boys.

Former Pussycat Dolls singer Nicole, who is mentoring the girls' category, quipped that Sharon has brought out her "sexual and feisty" side.

"Having Mrs O back on the panel brings a whole new energy and brings something out in each of the judges. She brings out my Sh-exual side. I just feel the confidence... She brings out the feisty in me," she revealed.

Take That frontman Gary added: "It feels great to be back. We're ready to start the competition and work with our acts. Sharon's amazing. She's made the panel very different this year - the addition of her has changed everything and the dynamic. If there's one thing Sharon has brought to the show, I feel like we're having a lot more fun. The entertainment value will be higher."

The show, which will be hosted by Dermot O'Leary, with Caroline Flack and newcomer Matt Richardson on spin-off show The Xtra Factor, returns to ITV on August 31.

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