Simon Cowell returns to The X Factor at London auditions to check up on the new judges!

Simon Cowell

We just knew Simon Cowell couldn't stay away from The X Factor! The music mogul this evening made a surprise appearance at the third and final day of this year's London auditions at the O2 Arena in Greenwich, taking the chance to check up on the new panel and see how they were getting on.

It was confirmed back in March that Simon would be leaving the show to focus on launching the X Factor USA, but with auditions for the American show now complete it seems as though Cowell has a bit of spare time on his hands!

While he won't be appearing on the show, Simon Cowell is still one of the programme's executive producers and was reportedly on set in London to see how the latest series of the show was progressing with its new look panel: Louis Walsh, Gary Barlow, Kelly Rowland and Tulisa Contostavlos.

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Whilst the new judges seem to have won over most fans already, it was clear Simon was being missed by viewers when the crowd found out he was in the building.

"The whole place went mad, people were screaming and wanting to meet him. Gary and Co. might have thought they were the stars of the show but they took a backseat when Simon arrived," an audience member revealed to us.

They added: "Simon's presence definitely improved the whole atmosphere for the auditions that followed."

Simon Cowell on The X Factor 2011

Simon then came out on stage to chat to the panel, joking with the audience: "Shall I take Louis seat?" before watching the judges and auditionees in action from the sidelines.

We imagine the hopefuls would've been made a little more nervous knowing Simon was watching them!

> Simon Cowell tells the new X Factor judging panel to up their game!

The X Factor 2011 premieres this summer on ITV1.

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