Dermot: X Factor 'feels nostalgic'

X Factor host Dermot O'Leary has said the new series of The X Factor, which begins on Saturday on ITV, has a "nostaligic feel" and is much "warmer" than in previous series. Traditional "intimate" closed auditions have been restored.

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Audience of 11m tune in to second X Factor show

The new series of the X Factor has continued to pull in audiences after more than 11 million people tuned in to watch the second episode.

The show, which saw the first batch of contenders sing in front of thousands of fans at Wembley Arena, drew an average of 9.9 million viewers.

X Factor judge Nicole Scherzinger. Credit: Doug Peters/Doug Peters/EMPICS Entertainment

Ratings, which also include people watching on ITV+1, show that a peak audience of 11.2 million tuned in.

Saturday's launch show pulled in an average of 9.2 million viewers - 500,000 more than last year's debut - and had a peak audience of 10.3 million.

ITV bosses will be hoping the figures mark an end to the ratings slide which have seen it lose viewers in recent years.

More: Gary Barlow hails X Factor's Tamera despite being 'lost for words'

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O'Leary praises Sharon Osbourne's X Factor impact

X Factor host Dermot O'Leary has praised the impact of Sharon Osbourne on the new series, saying she has brought the best out of the other judges.

He told ITV's Daybreak: "She has brought Louis back into prominence, it's almost like he is an old sheepdog who has just woken up by the fire.

"Gary (Barlow) has a great sense of humour, she brings that out in Gary and her and Nicole are close."

He added that the show had a more "nostaligic feel" this year and that is was much "warmer" than previous series.

See more: Barlow 'to save Blackpool gig'

Stand-up comic replacing Olly Murs as Xtra Factor host

Matt Richardson and Caroline Flack will present the Xtra Faxtor Credit: ITV

Stand-up comic Matt Richardson is replacing Olly Murs as co-host of the Xtra Factor this series with Caroline Flack.

Matt, 22, is just about to start his first UK tour called 'Hometown Hero', and has previously appeared on Big Brother's Bit on the Side'.

He takes over from Olly Murs on the side-kick show, who formerly presented it alongside Caroline Flack, and is now concentrating on his singing career.

In a trailer for the new series, Caroline strolls through a street party where only former X Factor contestants are invited, and where Matt Richardson holds up a sign saying 'look Mum, i'm on TV.'

The new series of the Xtra Factor starts at 9.20pm on Saturday on ITV2.

See the X Factor website for the latest news on the show.

Which celebrity mates will be helping X Factor judges?

Louis Walsh and Sharon Osbourne go head to head this year Credit: PA

The Sun has been forecasting the identities of celebrity friends joining the judges to help select finalists.

Louis is expected to bring Kelly Osbourne to help select his boys category, whilst her mother Sharon is said to be undecided over who will help with the over-28 finalists.

Nicole Scherzinger is reported to have asked Mary J Blige for her help in whittling down the girls category and finally Gary Barlow may seek the help of former contestant Olly Murs to choose the groups.

Judges will all be heading overseas with the finalists, claims the Sun.

Predictions see Nicole Scherzinger heading to the Caribbean, Gary Barlow to New York, Sharon Osbourne to LA and Louis Walsh across the Channel to France.

See the X Factor website for the latest news on the show.

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Gary Barlow's X Factor audition tears

Gary Barlow at the official X Factor press launch Credit: PA

X Factor judge Gary Barlow has admitted that the more "intimate" rehearsals in this year's show have brought him to tears.

The new audition format requires the contestant to pass an audition in front of Barlow and his fellow judges before a further audition in front of thousands at Wembley Arena.

Barlow confesses that this more "intimate" preliminary audition stage has sucessfully brought him to tears.

He said: "When it's in front of an arena it's very much a show, it feels like you're part of a big show, but when you're in the rooms and it is just literally one person, four judges and one hundred cameramen, it's very intimate and it does feel intimate and it makes you more emotional."

See the X Factor website for the latest news on the show.

Does the X Factor already have a winner?

A contestant has already been picked as a favourite to win the 2013 series - even before the series starts.

Prison officer Sam Bailey's first audition captured the judges' attention.

Her rendition of "Who's Loving You" led Louis Walsh to draw a comparison to Susan Boyle and the infamously hard-to-please Gary Barlow told her he had "never seen an audition as good as that".

Her audition has already stirred up some rivalry on the judges' panel.

Sharon Osbourne told her: "I bag you first. You and me will go to the top together."

Watch Sam's progress when the series starts this Saturday at 8 pm on ITV.

Will Robbie or Simon Cowell be the fifth X Factor judge?

Robbie Williams on stage Credit: Reuters

There is growing speculation over the identity of the fifth X Factor judge following an announcement on the official X Factor twitter page.

The X Factor account told followers they coul dexpect to find out "who (or what)" the fifth addition to the panel would be tomorrow.

Bookmaker Paddy Power has responded by welcoming bets over the mystery judge, offering their favourite odds of 1/7 ona viewer vote at the end of every live performance show.

Simon Cowell's return comes in second at stakes of 4/1, whilst Robbie Williams is at 20/1.

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