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The X Factor

The X Factor

Created by Simon Cowell, The X Factor has been on British screens since 2004, and the reality singing competition has been exported around the globe. Its current judging panel comprises of Cowell, Cheryl Fernandez-Versini - both of whom returned to the show in 2014 - Louis Walsh and new judge Mel B.

Aspiring musicians are put through a succession of audition rounds as the field is progressively narrowed down, and the competition culminates each year with a series of large-scale live shows. Previous winners include Leona Lewis, Alexandra Burke, Matt Cardle, Little Mix, James Arthur and 2014 champion Ben Haenow.

Numerous soloists and groups who didn't win the show - including One Direction, Olly Murs, JLS and Rebecca Ferguson - have all gone on to varying degrees of national and international success. The competition's more outrageous and flamboyant acts - from energetic twin brothers Jedward to singer-turned-TV presenter Rylan Clark - have also attracted attention over The X Factor's decade on TV screens.

Over the years, The X Factor has often been the subject of controversy and criticism from musicians and industry executives. However, it has retained mainstream popularity and a strong overnight ratings performance, enjoying a healthy ratings rivalry with the BBC's Strictly Come Dancing.
The X Factor Top Story X Factor's Luke Friend signs record deal with Sony, confirms first single The former X Factor contestant will release his debut single in March.
The X Factor shouty man has taken his talents on the road. Only The Young shouty man at CBB eviction The singer says their relationship is "all up in the air at the moment". X Factor Stevi opens up about Chloe Jasmine She took to Twitter after Strictly was beaten to the Talent Show award. Claudia reacts to X Factor beating Strictly Dermot O'Leary says he "couldn't think of anyone better" to host the ITV series. Dermot: I'd pick Emma Willis for X Factor The presenter says that his previous comments were "taken out of context". Dermot responds to X Factor exit rumours The host describes The X Factor as a "huge part" of his life. Dermot O'Leary not sure of X Factor return Contestant will play two shows in Manchester in February. Paul Akister for select X Factor shows The X Factor's Ben Haenow will begin recording his debut album later this month. Ben Haenow signs Syco deal on birthday The One Direction star compares The Voice to football team Accrington Stanley. Louis Tomlinson hits out at The Voice UK The singer is returning to music this year with a crowdfunded release. Ray Quinn thanks Simon Cowell for career The singer says that the talent show is good for singers, but not songwriters. Sam Smith: 'X Factor is damaging' She performed at Westfield shopping centre's ice rink on Tuesday (December 23). X Factor's Lauren surprises London shoppers Digital Spy collects the ratings throughout the shows' latest series. X Factor vs Strictly: TV ratings roundup The X Factor winner is on course to be this year's Christmas number one. Watch Ben Haenow's first music video The singer says she had "always wondered what it would be like". Tulisa excited to do X Factor with Simon The duo reveal that Louis Walsh axed the smooch from the first live show. Blonde Electra planned conjoined twin kiss Ben Haenow has topped iTunes with his cover of OneRepublic's 'Something I Need'. OneRepublic congratulate X Factor's Ben Sam Bailey says that she has stayed grounded since winning The X Factor. Bailey 'stayed grounded after X Factor' Video: We chat to Ben Haenow about hugging Dermot and working with Ed Sheeran again. X Factor: Ben Haenow on his dream sound Producer says he doesn't hold a grudge against X Factor's Fleur East over rush release. Uptown Funk rush release annoys Ronson Can't believe his luck. X Factor: Ben's amazing winning photoshoot The X Factor four-piece mash up two festive classics. Only the Young release Xmas cover video Katie Waissel also hits out at Cheryl for her "bulls**t". Is Katie Waissel hinting at X Factor role? Only The Young shouty man. Sinitta's tweets. That Blonde Electra kiss. And more! 15 silliest moments from The X Factor 2014 Compare and contrast the official show stats with your own votes. X Factor 2014: Full reader voting stats Strictly Come Dancing's semi-final results show beats the final of the ITV series. X Factor final is lowest-rated since 2004 Stephen Belafonte slams rumours he was involved in a domestic violence incident. Mel B husband denies assault rumours A new X Factor champion has been crowned - we gather reactions! X Factor: The best reactions to finale We present all the best photos of Fleur East and Ben Haenow going for glory. X Factor finale: All the best photos Simon Cowell reveals that Ben Haenow has already reached number three on iTunes chart. Cowell: 'Ben's single already at number 3' Ben Haenow received 57.2% of vote in Sunday's (December 14) final. X Factor 2014: Full voting stats revealed Let us know if you support this year's X Factor winner. X Factor: Did Ben Haenow deserve to win? X Factor winner was announced during Sunday's live finale at Wembley. Ben Haenow wins X Factor 2014 Find out how night two of the finale went down with the judges. X Factor final: What did the judges say? Mel B says the doctors and nurses took great care of her in hospital. X Factor: Mel B thanks hospital staff There are two Overs in The X Factor final. And no, we can't believe it either. The X Factor Final Live Blog: As it happened The judge has been discharged from hospital and deemed well enough to return. X Factor: Mel B will return for Grand Finale More than five thousand of you voted Fleur East as the best act of the final. X Factor final: Fleur tops reader poll The One Direction singer recovers from illness in time to perform on the final. Louis Tomlinson to perform on X Factor Digital Spy brings you the best of tonight's (December 14) TV picks. What to Watch: Tonight's TV Picks