CONFIRMED: Gary Barlow, Tulisa, Louis Walsh and Kelly Rowland for The X Factor

Tulisa Contostavlos

The worst kept secret in telly history is out! Today ITV confirmed that the new X Factor 2011 judges would be Take That's Gary Barlow, Tulisa Contostavlos from hip-hop group N-Dubz, Irish music mogul Louis Walsh and US star Kelly Rowland!

The four stars will debut on the show this Wednesday when The X Factor 2011 kicks off its search for talented singers across the UK in Birmingham.

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40-year-old singer-songwriter Gary Barlow will take over from Simon Cowell, heading up the judging panel with years of experience in the music industry having been performing on stage and TV since he was a child.

Former Destiny's Child star Kelly Rowland will bring a taste of America to the panel. The US R&B singer has been having hit after hit recently with songs including Commander and When Love Takes Over. Kelly's new single 'What A Feeling' shows that this is one X Factor judge who has plenty of talent.

Replacing Cheryl Cole is hip-hop star and rapper Tulisa Contostavlos. The singer from the group N-Dubz has had plenty of experience in the music industry from performing to writing, despite being only 22. Young Tulisa has previously worked with Gary Barlow, having co-written a track together on N-Dubz' debut album. Last year with her group N-Dubz, Tulisa performed on a 38 date sell out tour across the UK.

Completing the panel is Irish music mogul Louis Walsh, who is only returning judge from last year's show! This will be Louis' eighth year on the programme and it makes him the only remaining original judge on The X Factor here in the UK!

The X Factor auditions start on June 1 in Birmingham.

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