X Factor 2016 'crisis' played down as Simon Cowell and Dermot O'Leary expected at auditions


Simon Cowell (Ian West/PA)

Simon Cowell and Dermot O'Leary haven't picked the best time to be a bit under the weather because the first auditions for The X Factor 2016 are nearly upon us.

A report in The Sun said the show was in "crisis" due to the potential absences of its two key figures, with Dermot apparently struck down by food poisoning and X Factor boss Simon suffering with flu.

However, a show source told the Press Association: "Both Simon and Dermot have been unwell, but we don't expect any issues on the first day of auditions."

The latest batch of pop wannabes will be heading to the home of the Premier League champions, Leicester City's King Power stadium, in the hope of becoming the next One Direction or Little Mix.

They will be showcasing their best vocal talents in front of returning faces Sharon Osbourne, Nicole Scherzinger and Louis Walsh, who are all joining Simon on the judging panel.

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

Dermot O'Leary is hosting The X Factor (Freemantle Media UK)
Dermot O'Leary is hosting The X Factor (Freemantle Media UK)

Nicole was a judge in 2012, when her contestant James Arthur won, and again in 2013.

Louis was also one of the original judges in 2004. He remain on the show until a temporary departure in 2007. The Irishman was not on the panel for the 2015 series, but he is set to bring the fun factor back.