The ex-factor? Here's why the 2016 X Factor judging panel will give you serious deja vu


Viewers will be forgiven for thinking they are suffering from a bad case of deja vu when The X Factor returns later this year.

Simon Cowell appears to hope old blood will trump new as he brings back former judges Louis Walsh, Sharon Osbourne and Nicole Sherzinger to revitalise the show - which drew the lowest ratings ever for a final in the first part of last year's show.

Louis Walsh and Sharon Osbourne are back with Simon Cowell on the panel (TALKBACK THAMES/SYCO/ITV/PA)

Show stalwart Louis was ditched last series after 11 years of service in favour of Nick Grimshaw, but the Radio One DJ confirmed his departure earlier this year after only one series.

Louis told Press Association last year that he was not sacked, but was putting his management career, which includes helping Boyzone and Westlife find fame, back to the forefront.

He said: "I haven't been sacked, I can honestly tell you that, but I'm not hanging around for them this year because I want to go back to being a manager."

Louis Walsh was replaced briefly with Brian Friedman and Nick Grimshaw (Daniel Leal-Olivas/PA)

It's not the first time the 63-year-old Irishman has received a phone call from bosses asking him back.

He was briefly dumped in series four in 2007 and replaced with choreographer Brian Friedman, but he returned after only a few audition episodes when Simon admitted he had made a mistake.

That was the last series that would feature Sharon until her one-off judging stint in 2013. She was replaced by Cheryl Fernandez-Versini, who won last year with Louisa Johnson.

Sharon said she quit because of Dannii Minogue (Steve Parsons/PA)

The 63-year-old music manager, who has just split from husband Ozzy Osbourne, admitted she left in a "very unprofessional way" just two weeks before auditions were due to start and did not mince her words about why.

She told Closer magazine in 2009: "I left because of (fellow judge) Dannii Minogue. Simple as that.

"I didn't enjoy working with her at all and the prospect of spending six months sitting next to her, I thought, 'My life is better than that'."

Nicole will sit next to Simon for the first time on the UK judging panel (Jonathan Short/AP/PA)

Nicole is the only judge to have not taken a seat on the UK panel alongside Simon.

After impressing in a guest capacity, she launched the US version alongside the music mogul before being made a permanent judge over here in 2012 and 2013 next to Gary Barlow.

The three new judges have all won once: Louis with Shayne Ward, Sharon with Sam Bailey and Nicole with James Arthur.

But Simon reigns supreme with three champions to his name: Steve Brookstein, Leona Lewis and Ben Haenow.