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Peak audience of 10.6 million tune in to watch X Factor

A peak audience of 10.6 million people tuned in last night to watch the return of the hit TV talent-show X Factor.

The 11th series kicked off with a brand new line-up of contestants and judges, beating last year's launch audience by 300,000 viewers.

Cheryl Fernandez-Versini made a return to the judging panel. Credit: ITV/PA Wire

Cheryl Fernandez-Versini- formerly Cheryl Cole - made a return to the judging panel for the first time since 2011.

She sits alongside former Spice Girl Mel B, Simon Cowell and X-Factor stalwart Louis Walsh.

The X Factor was the most watched programme of the night by more than 4 million viewers.

The show continues tonight at 8pm on ITV.


X Factor app allows free voting for first time

X Factor viewers will be able to vote for free for the first time in the latest series.

The X Factor returns this Saturday on ITV. Credit: Tom Dymond/Thames TV

An app will allow fans to back their favourite acts once the show, which returns this weekend, reaches the live shows stage.

Those with tablets and smartphones running Apple's iOS and Google's Android software can download the free app.

Viewers will be able to cast up to five votes whenever the polls are open and they can back one contestant or a combination.

It is the first time voting for contestants has been available free of charge since the ITV show arrived in 2004.

Cheryl: Simon had to 'beg and grovel' to get me back

Returning X Factor judge Cheryl Fernandez-Versini says her return depended on "a lot of begging and grovelling" from Simon Cowell and has promised to "get my own back" after being axed from the US version of the show in 2011.

A new publicity shot has been released ahead of Saturday's return of the X Factor. Credit: Nicky Johnston/Thames TV

The newly-married star has previously described Cowell as her "frenemy", but now likened him to an "annoying brother".

Simon has his very own way of being very annoying. He knows which buttons to push and he'll push them, and push them, and push them. But I play the long game. I'm waiting. Don't worry about me, I'll get my own back.

– Cheryl Fernandez-Versini

She added that it "felt like the right time to come back" and added: "I'd had enough time away to appreciate it and get really excited to find new talent again."

Cowell and Fernandez-Versini will be reunited alongside fellow judges Louis Walsh and former Spice Girl Melanie Brown when the series resumes on ITV on Saturday night.

Tulisa said she could get "white sweets," court hears

Former X factor judge and N-Dubz star Tulisa told an undercover reporter she could get hold of "white sweets" in an apparent reference to cocaine, a court heard.

The five-star Dorchester Hotel in London where the drug deal with an undercover reporter took place. Credit: PA

The singer "did not negotiate the price or amount" but "did all she could to make a supply of cocaine happen," prosecutor Tim Cray said.

He added Tulisa's role in the deal at London's Dorchester Hotel in May last year was "instrumental."

Tulisa's 'close friend' Mike GLC, whose real name is Michael Coombs, has already pleaded guilty to supplying 13.9g of cocaine. Credit: PA

The trial at Southwark Crown Court continues.

Tulisa 'helped supply drugs to secure Hollywood film'

Former X Factor judge Tulisa Contostavlos helped supply cocaine to an undercover reporter because she thought he was a Hollywood film producer who could "get her a part in a big movie," a court has heard.

Tulisa arriving at Southwark Crown Court. Credit: ITV News

The 26-year-old singer allegedly boasted she could "sort out" drugs for a man she knew as Samir Khan but who was actually Sun on Sunday journalist Mazher Mahmood, also known as the 'fake sheikh.'

Southwark Crown Court heard she was "keen to be in his good books" to get the part with Leonardo DiCaprio as her possible co-star.

She put Mr Mahmood in touch with her rapper friend Mike GLC who supplied the cocaine at a late-night rendezvous at London's five-star Dorchester Hotel last May, jurors heard.

The singer also allegedly bragged that her ex-boyfriend was a "major cocaine dealer" and she used to be part of a gang who sold crack cocaine.

Mike GLC, whose real name is Michael Coombs, 36, pleaded guilty on Monday to supplying half an ounce (13.9g) of cocaine for £860.

Prosecutor Tim Cray told jurors Tulisa was "instrumental" in setting up the deal.

She denies one charge of being concerned with the supply of class A drugs. The trial continues.


X Factor's Sam Bailey signs autobiography book deal

Winner of The X Factor Sam Bailey is hoping to climb a new chart - after signing a book deal for her autobiography.

The singer- who is expecting her third child later this year - will be be making a bid for the bestseller lists when her book is published in November.

Former prison officer turned singer Sam Bailey has signed a book deal for her autobiography which will be on sale in November. Credit: PA

Publisher Blink said the former prison officer - who reached number one with her debut single Skyscraper - will "talk openly and honestly about her rise to fame" in the book.

Bailey said: "The last year has been such an amazing journey for me. I feel so lucky, excited and privileged to be able to share it with everyone."

Caroline Flack quits Xtra Factor after three years

Caroline Flack. Credit: PA

TV presenter Caroline Flack has announced she will not be returning to host X Factor spin off the Xtra Factor for a fourth series.

The 34-year-old said on her Twitter page: "I have a lil announcement," before revealing the news.

A statement then read: "Heyyyyyy! After three brilliant years of hosting Xtra Factor its time to pass the baton. It's been incredible and I'll never forget it.

She joked: "How can I when I am married to Louis Walsh? It's all he ever talks about at home.

"I wish the new team all the best and look forward to watching the new series."

Ella Henderson's debut single set to be number 1

Ella Henderson who is tipped to hit number 1 spot with debut single this weekend. Credit: PA

X Factor loser Ella Henderson need not have worried about winning the show as she looks set to top the charts this weekend with her debut single Ghost.

The 18-year-old failed to make the quarter finals of the talent show in 2012 but was snapped up by Simon Cowell's label Syco.

Midweek figures from the Official Charts Company revealed she has already sold more than 78,000 copies of her new track.

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