The X Factor (British TV series)

UK television series

The X Factor is a British television programme, in which ordinary people who want to be singers compete for a recording contract and a cash prize. It is shown from August-December each year on Saturdays and Sundays on the channel ITV. It replaced Pop Idol by Simon Cowell in 2004.

The X Factor
GenreReality television
Created bySimon Cowell
Presented by
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Original languageEnglish
Running time60–150 minutes
Original release
Release4 September 2004 (2004-09-04) –
2 December 2018 (2018-12-02)

The show started being presented by Kate Thornton, but she left in Series 3 (2006.) Ben Shephard was hoping to present, but his offer was turned down. Instead, Dermot O'Leary took over in Series 4 (2007) and presented for 8 series, until his departure from the show in Series 10. Olly Murs and Caroline Flack became the first duo to host the show, but only lasted one season, mainly because they were very unpopular with the public. Dermot O'Leary returned to present the 13th series and has continued to present the show since.


Year Series Winner Runner-up
2004 Series 1 Steve Brookstein G4
2005 Series 2 Shayne Ward Andy Abraham
2006 Series 3 Leona Lewis Ray Quinn
2007 Series 4 Leon Jackson Rhydian Roberts
2008 Series 5 Alexandra Burke JLS
2009 Series 6 Joe McElderry Olly Murs
2010 Series 7 Matt Cardle Rebecca Ferguson
2011 Series 8 Little Mix Marcus Collins
2012 Series 9 James Arthur Jahméne Douglas
2013 Series 10 Sam Bailey Nicholas McDonald
2014 Series 11 Ben Haenow Fleur East
2015 Series 12 Louisa Johnson Reggie n Bollie
2016 Series 13 Matt Terry Saara Aalto
2017 Series 14 Rak-Su Grace Davies
2018 Series 15 Dalton Harris Scarlett Lee


Year Judges
2004 Louis Walsh Sharon Osbourne Simon Cowell
2007 Dannii Minogue
2008 Cheryl
2011 Tulisa Gary Barlow Kelly Rowland
2012 Nicole Scherzinger
2013 Sharon Osbourne
2014 Cheryl Simon Cowell Mel B
2015 Nick Grimshaw Rita Ora
2016 Louis Walsh Sharon Osbourne Nicole Scherzinger
2018 Louis Tomlinson Ayda Field Robbie Williams



Xtra Factor

Judges Simon Cowell and Cheryl Cole during filming of the London auditions for series 7

The Xtra Factor was the spin-off show of the X Factor UK. It is broadcast on British Television channel ITV2. The hosts of the spin-off are well known for hosting for short periods of time. The first Xtra Factor host was Ben Shephard, and he quit in Series 3, because his offer of being the main presenter (after Kate Thornton's departure) was turned down by the show's producers. Fearne Cotton then hosted for the fourth series. Holly Willoughby, Cotton's close friend, replaced her during the following two series, but was replaced by Blue Peter former presenter, Konnie Huq in 2010, however, Konnie lasted only one series. Olly Murs and Caroline Flack became the first duo to host the Xtra Factor in Series 8, and they presented together for two seasons. Olly then left in order to focus on his music career. He was replaced by Matt Richardson, but then Caroline and Matt announced their leave. Sarah-Jane Crawford hosted for only the 11th season. The Saturdays singer Rochelle Humes teamed up with Melvin Odoom to present the Xtra Factor's twelfth season. Matt Edmondson and Rylan Clark-Neal presented the thirteenth and final series[1][2]

On 18 January 2017, it was announced that The Xtra Factor would be axed after 13 years and would be replaced by an online show instead.[3]

Celebrity version


In 2006, there was a celebrity version titled The X Factor: Battle of the Stars. It saw nine celebrity acts perform over the course of 8 episodes. The winner (Lucy Benjamin) received money for her chosen charity as a prize. The judges were Simon, Sharon and Louis. In 2019, there was a similar version returned titled The X Factor: Celebrity. The judges were Simon, Louis and Nicole.

Winners of the celebrity version of The X Factor
Year Title Winner Episodes Contestants
2006 The X Factor: Battle of the Stars Lucy Benjamin 8 9
2019 The X Factor: Celebrity Megan McKenna 15
Judges of the celebrity version of The X Factor
Year Title Judges
2006 The X Factor: Battle of the Stars Louis Walsh Sharon Osbourne Simon Cowell
2019 The X Factor: Celebrity Nicole Scherzinger

The X Factor: The Band


The X Factor: The Band was a one-time special edition of the show. It was a version with the aim of creating a new popular band. The show had four episodes. The girl group Real Like You won the live final. The show was judged by Simon Cowell, Nicole Scherzinger and former winner Leona Lewis.


  1. Deen, Sarah (27 June 2016). "The Xtra Factor 2016 is going live with new host Matt Edmondson". Metro. DMG Media.
  2. Wightman, Catriona (1 July 2016). "The Xtra Factor: Rylan Clark-Neal officially joins Matt Edmondson as a co-host this year". Digital Spy. United Kingdom: Hearst Corporation. Retrieved 1 July 2016.
  3. "The Xtra Factor to be taken off air and replaced with digital spin-off".