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Stripped-back auditions bring X Factor back to its roots

Just 37 acts will perform in front of the X Factor's celebrity judging panel in Gateshead, without an audience, in a stripped-back audition process.

Cheryl Cole superfans wait for the judges' arrival on the red carpet

Open auditions held already across the UK - including Gateshead and South Shields - have whittled down the number of contestants.

Those remaining will audition in a room at the Baltic art gallery in front of a returning Simon Cowell and Cheryl Cole, veteran Louis Walsh, and new judge Mel B.

In previous years, auditions have been in front of a large theatre audience, but this time, they will start in a small room, similar to the initial years of the show.

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X Factor's Louis Walsh arrives at North East audition

The X Factor's longest-serving judge, Louis Walsh, has arrived punctually at the North East auditions in Gateshead. He was greeted by fans lining a red carpet, which has been laid outside the Sage Gateshead on the Quayside.

Louis Walsh had his sunglasses on for a hot day on the Gateshead Quayside
Louis Walsh walks the red carpet in the North East

Is this the next winner of the X Factor?

X Factor auditions are well underway in Gateshead, with hopefuls queuing to see the four judges - Simon Cowell, Cheryl Cole, Mel B and Louis Walsh. This man was pulled out of the crowd for an interview - could he be the next North East winner of the X Factor?

The auditions are taking place at the Baltic, on the banks of the River Tyne in Gateshead

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Cheryl Cole in Gateshead to find next X Factor star

Geordie star Cheryl Cole will return to the North East later for X Factor auditions in Gateshead.

It is four years since the singer was last a judge on the show, but she will be back in the hot seat at the Baltic with the other three judges.

Cheryl Cole arrived at earlier X Factor auditions in London Credit: Stefan Rousseau/PA

Hundreds of hopefuls audition for X factor

Long queues outside the Sage in Gateshead for X Factor auditions. Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

Hundreds of X factor hopefuls have been auditioning for the next series in Gateshead.

The show's producers are at the Sage for the first round of auditions.

Successful contestants will get the chance to perform in front of the judges later in the summer.

Hundreds queue for a chance to get onto X Factor. Credit: ITV Tyne Tees
The hopefuls performed in front of the show's producers at the Sage. Credit: ITV Tyne Tees
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