Gary Barlow will return to the X Factor panel for the next series of the reality show, it has been confirmed.
The Take That star announced the news via his Twitter page on 17 April, cryptically posting:
“I’ve got some news ……”
Before revealing that he would returning to the panel for a second time:
“I’m so happy to tell you all that I’m back on the X factor this year! See you at auditions.”
ITV and the producers of the reality series later confirmed the news in a press release, with SyCo boss Simon Cowell quoted as saying:
“It’s great to be able to confirm our first judge for this year’s show. Gary has earned his place and I’m excited to be working with him again.”
The other three judges are yet to be confirmed by the channel, Thames or SyCo, however Tulisa Contostavlos, who mentored winners Little Mix last year, and only remaining original judge, Louis Walsh, are both expected to return.
It is not yet known if Kelly Rowland will feature in this year’s series.
The X Factor was the most watched show in 2011 and was named Best Talent Show at the National TV Awards in January.
This year will see a slight rule change, with any singer over the age of 16 allowed to enter, even if they have a record deal in place.
The series will return in summer 2012.