This year's X Factor final to take place in Manchester

The final of the X Factor is to be staged in Manchester in December.

Show bosses announced the climax of the ITV1 show will take place outside London for the first time.

Last year the event was staged in a huge venue for the first time, with thousands watching at Wembley Arena rather than Fountain Studios which has been the home of the show for many years.

This year's finale of the talent hunt will take place at Manchester Central.

Judges Gary Barlow, Nicole Scherzinger, Tulisa and Louis Walsh will all decamp to the city for the crowning of the winner.

Walsh said: "Our Live Final is going to be another major event - so The X Factor 2012 has everything. I believe it's going to be our best series yet."

Nearly half the tickets for the two-night final at the 11,000 seat venue - formerly known as GMEX - will be given to customers of the sponsor of the series and final, TalkTalk.

The new series begins on Saturday.