X Factor Judges red carpet arrival in Manchester

Crowds gathered to wish this year's X Factor Judges luck as they kicked off their search to find this year's finalists.

Simon, Cheryl, Mel B and Louis wowed the fans on their way to the infamous Judges' room where they're eyeballing this year's hopefuls.

They were flanked by Dermot and new Xtra Factor host Sarah-Jane.

Credit: Syco/Thames/Corbis

Credit: Syco/Thames/Corbis

Credit: Syco/Thames/Corbis

Credit: Syco/Thames/Corbis

Credit: Syco/Thames/Corbis

Credit: Syco/Thames/Corbis

Sarah-Jane Crawford has got the Xtra Factor

More exciting developments for The X Factor as ITV2’s The Xtra Factor gains a new host. The wonderful Sarah-Jane Crawford is the new face of the show, coming to your screens later this year.

Sarah-Jane will be taking audiences behind the scenes of one of the biggest shows on TV, providing exclusive backstage access from the X Factor auditions to the live finals, while grilling the Judges - Simon Cowell, Cheryl Cole, Mel B and Louis Walsh - as well as the contestants.

Sarah’s been hosting an afternoon radio show on 1Xtra and voicing The Official UK Urban Chart rundown – so she knows music like the back of her hand.

Speaking of her new role, Sarah-Jane said: “I’ve been a huge fan of The X Factor since day one and have watched every series religiously, so to be the new host of The Xtra Factor in its most exciting year EVER, is what dreams are made of. I'll be asking the Judges the questions that people at home are screaming at their TVs - and you'd better believe I'm going in with a bang! I just can’t wait to get on the road now and meet the auditionees!"

Even more reason to be excited about the new series.

Open Audition for groups Saturday May 31

Are a group that has the potential to be the next Little Mix, One Direction or Union J ?
We want to meet you at a special Open Audition in central London on Saturday 31st May.

12pm - 4pm
1 Stephen Street
London
W1T 1AL

You need to be over 14 years to audition and anyone under 18 needs to attend with their parent or guardian.

Please read full terms and conditions here.

Cheryl Cole is back!

It's the news we were dying to tell you... Cheryl Cole is back!

We announced back in March that the Geordie lass will return to the judging panel this autumn, where she'll no doubt bring her unique blend of sass, charm and honesty, that crowned her the nation's sweetheart. With two wins under her belt - Alexandra Burke in 2008 and Joe McElderry in 2009 - Cheryl's proven she knows talent when she sees it. But can she make it a triple?

I'm very happy and excited to be returning to the X Factor. I'm inspired and ready to find new talent and potential popstars. It's going to be a fun series.

– Cheryl's promising a heap of fun this series

Audition fever hits the UK

Are you the next big thing? Do you have what it takes to sell out a packed arena? Then we've been out to find you! This year The X Factor auditions visited a massive 43 towns and cities across the country – more places than we’ve ever visited before - looking for the girl, boy, over 25 or group that would make 2014 their year.

Applications have now closed for The X Factor 2014, but here's a look at what was going down at the open auditions...