The X Factor
Nick Grimshaw and Rita Ora

Created by Simon Cowell in 2004, The X Factor is sometimes controversial, often criticised, and frequently entertaining. Its new judging panel for 2015 comprises Cowell, Cheryl Fernandez-Versini, Voice UK series 4 coach Rita Ora and Radio 1 breakfast show host Nick Grimshaw.

Aspiring musicians are put through a succession of audition rounds leading up to a series of large-scale live shows on primetime TV. 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, JLS and Rebecca Ferguson - have all gone on to varying degrees of national and international success, with Olly Murs even becoming the show's new host for 2015 alongside Caroline Flack.

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 11 years on TV screens. The show 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 Dannii Minogue wanted to be at X Factor Judges' Houses with Cheryl (but it didn't work out) Changes in format have made it impossible for the singer to appear on The X Factor.
Crazy outfits, Simon's chronic lateness and strategic heel breaks are the truth behind the auditions. X Factor: Backstage secrets revealed Second episode of the new series is down on Saturday night's premiere. UK TV ratings: X Factor just shy of 6m Seann Miley Moore reduced the X Factor judge to tears with a powerful performance. Rita Ora praises X Factor's Seann Miley Moore Five-piece bring a bit of Uptown Funk to the X Factor auditions on Sunday night. The First Kings funk up the X Factor Seann Miley Moore pulled out all the stops in his strong (and sassy!) X Factor audition. Rita Ora left stunned by powerful audition Josh Daniel's rendition of Labrinth's 'Jealous' will hit you right in the feels. Watch X Factor audition that made Cowell cry If you can face Josh Daniel's audition again, that is. X Factor 2015: Here's your video round-up Excuse us, we have something in our eye. X Factor review: We're not okay Four acts made it through, but who are you most excited about? Vote! Who was best on X Factor tonight? Join us as we bring you all the action from the second night of auditions. X Factor episode 2: Live blog Rita and Grimmy make their debuts, but only 7 million people watched the opening episode live. X Factor down nearly 2m viewers compared to 2014 New judges, new hosts - but was The X Factor just the same old show? X Factor review: Were the changes worth it? The live auditions kicked off with a bang, and social media was on hand to document every moment. X Factor episode 1: What did Twitter think? Find out which eight acts will be rounding out X Factor's launch weekend. X Factor spoilers: Meet tonight's acts There will be tears. X Factor: 10 teasers for episode two The 17-year-old performer wowed Simon Cowell enough to receive the biggest 'yes' vote yet. X Factor: Louisa Johnson stuns judges Our Twitter reactions are sorted for weeks. X Factor: Tonight's best Cheryl gifs The student's smooth voice wins over the judges with a fantastic rendition of a Billy Joel classic. X Factor 2015: Tom Bleasby has got soul Techno Susie, 4th Power, Louisa Johnson - it was all going on tonight. X Factor: Here's your video round-up A homecoming-of-sorts may be just what the boys need before taking their well-earned break. Cowell wants One Direction send-off on X Factor We'll be dreaming of Nick Grimshaw lip syncing tonight. X Factor: The 15 best bits from tonight's show Rita Ora said that Jon Goodey had no "star presence" in tonight's show. X Factor's Olly sad as judges turn down friend Nine acts made it through the auditions today but what did you think of them? X Factor: Who was your favourite? Camden Town singer wows the crowd and judges alike with her rendition of Mary Mary's 'Shackles'. X Factor: Jennifer Phillips earns standing ovation The Filipino girl group, made up of four sisters, flew in especially to audition. X Factor: Filipino girlband stun judges It's time to face the music. The X Factor 2015 launch: Live blog Create and share your own personalised music video with the TalkTalk TV app. Get your face on X Factor with the BopHeads app Jay Hunt weighs in on the inevitable Strictly versus X Factor Saturday night showdown. C4 boss backs X Factor in ratings wars Find out who tonight's hopefuls are - and what they'll be singing. X Factor spoilers: Meet tonight's acts There's loads happening in the launch, from sexy dancing to viral stars. X Factor 2015: 10 teasers about tonight The duo were in a band called the Small Town Blaggers before Olly Murs shot to fame. X Factor: Olly Murs' mate Jon auditions No X Factor party is complete without this treat. X Factor: The only bingo card you need The Essex girl takes to the auditions stage with a long list of Whitney Houston songs. X Factor: Lauren Murray "reps Whitney" Susan Price shocks the judges with her moves on this weekend's show. Watch this X Factor act hit some bum notes He just can't resist lip-syncing and dancing to the Girls Aloud hit 'Sound of the Underground' backstage. X Factor: Grimmy channels his inner popstar Is Cheryl missing Louis? "No." The X Factor: All the red carpet gossip Simon Cowell attempting to get down with the kids is just one highlight. X Factor: Best bits from the press launch Olly Murs and Caroline Flack are tasked with finding new stars for the judging panel. X Factor's on a secret mission in new trailer A cryptic message accused a friend of ruining "the biggest day" of her life. Did Caroline Flack just slam Sam Smith? You might want to hide behind the sofa for this one. Video: The angriest X Factor auditions ever