Simon Cowell will be joined by some old favourites on The X Factor judging panel


Simon Cowell, Sharon Osbourne, Nicole Scherzinger and Louis Walsh

Sharon Osbourne, Nicole Scherzinger and Louis Walsh will return to The X Factor to join Simon Cowell on the judging panel.

They will be accompanied by host Dermot O'Leary, who is returning to the series after a brief absence.

Sharon, who recently announced her split from rock star husband Ozzy, was one of the original judges on the series and appeared on the panel between 2004 and 2007 before returning in 2013.

Nicole has also been a judge on the show before in 2012, when her contestant James Arthur won, and again in 2013.

Nicole Scherzinger arrives for the Elton John AIDS Foundation's 23rd annual Academy Awards Viewing Party at West Hollywood Park in Los Angeles.

Louis sat on the judging panel for 12 series before a break last year and said he cannot wait to return.

He said: "He'd say otherwise but I knew Simon missed me last year! I'm delighted to be back on the panel, especially beside my two favourite female judges Sharon and Nicole, and I'm looking forward to taking them all back to Dublin this year when we head there for auditions."

Sharon said the thing she is most looking forward to is meeting Simon's baby son Eric.

Festival supporter Sharon Osbourne at the inaugural Cinemagic London Festival, a film and television charity for young children, at Cineworld in central London.
(Philip Toscano/PA)

She said:" I'm overjoyed about going back to The X Factor, sitting with Lou, gorgeous Nicole and naughty Simon. But most of all, I can't wait to meet baby Eric."

Former Pussycat Doll Nicole said: "I can't wait to be back in the UK and on the show with the best judges sitting alongside me on the panel. I'm excited about discovering, mentoring and winning with an exciting new act this year. And having had winning contestants in the past, Simon knows I will do it."

The show, which has propelled acts like One Direction, Little Mix and Olly Murs to fame, suffered in the ratings last year.

Simon Cowell with One Direction
(Ian West/PA)

Olly and Caroline Flack, who previously presented The X Factor's sister show The Xtra Factor, attempted to step into Dermot's shoes, but their tenure was marked by falling audience figures - with BBC rival Strictly Come Dancing frequently triumphing in the ratings - and a number of gaffes.

Caroline Flack and Olly Murs attending The X Factor media launch held at Playhouse Central on Shaftesbury Avenue
(Philip Toscano/PA)

This year the judges' auditions will begin on Friday June 10 at Leicester City's King Power Stadium, but the series will also mark the return of the smaller audition rooms.

Talking about the new series, Simon warned: "Be careful what you wish for!"

The X Factor will return to ITV later this year alongside The Xtra Factor on ITV2.