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The X Factor

Sat Aug 31, 8-9.20pm, ITV

Series ten, episode one
Autumn’s here, then. And so is the race for the Christmas Number One slot. Added intrigue this year comes from the defenestration of poor Tulisa Contostavlos who’s been bullied out of the show by some scumbag red-top hacks. So, back into the breach comes everybody’s favourite mad auntie Sharon Osbourne.

The ten-minute taster we were able to view devoted most of its time to showing Louis Walsh, Gary Barlow and Nicole Scherzinger gazing perplexed at Sharon as she babbled, wittered, screamed, fell under the table and generally goofed off for the cameras. So expect the auditions, which begin tonight, to be long. Still, you never know – a few diamonds in the rough may be unearthed. And, from the look of the sampler, we’d say we have a potential winner already. ‘The Xtra Factor’ follows on ITV2, as ever, and there’s more tomorrow at 8pm.


Alexander Eden
Alexander Eden

This Saturday sees the return of safe, wrapped-up-for-winter, TV. And none more so than The X Factor - where the X is now appropriately nearing the bodycount of largely forgotten winners. But you should still be watching. After all, "it's what people do on a Saturday night" claims judge Sharon Osborne in a recent interview. Except it wasn't what she did. Until lately, that is, when another housemate was evicted; Channel 5 may be where TV shows go to die, but ITV keeps its own version of (Celebrity) Big Brother grinding on.... Still, the judges aren't why you should watch either. Even though X Factor sounds like a dodgy tanning lotion, it's not entirely fake. There's still that special undiscovered spark; that hairs-standing-on-end, heart-stopping attack of Cinderellas soaring above the rabble of ugly sisters. Well, maybe that's a little unfair. Louis Walsh isn't ugly. Just old. But forget him and his fellow has-been housemates and instead curl up for another comfortingly familiar fairytale, where hidden gems never fail to outshine over-polished turds.