The X Factor 2011 to feature 'longest ever shows' with 3-hour long marathons

X Factor 2011 judges

The X Factor 2011 is reportedly preparing to break new records with 3 hour long marathon live shows later this year, it has been claimed. According to the Daily Mirror today, show bosses want to maximise the entertainment - and advertising revenue - following last year's bumper ratings.

Last year's series saw some of the biggest ratings ever, with more than 20 million viewers tuning in to watch Matt Cardle crowned winner.

Cashing in on those viewers - and a new panel, ITV1 this year plan marathon long shows full of performances, drama and guest appearances from top global stars.

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So we X Factor fans best get comfy.

An insider told the newspaper today: “The feeling is that the audience can’t get enough of the show and extending the programmes again seems the natural next step.

“The idea is simple. More X Factor will mean more viewers, more advertising space, more telephone votes and, ultimately, more revenue.”

The X Factor 2011 will once again see 16 live finalists starting the live shows and with rumours of Simon Cowell and Cheryl Cole returning as extra judges, there's going to be no shortage of footage.

With new panellists including Take That's Gary Barlow and US superstar Kelly Rowland also on the panel, advertising on the show is set to be the "most expensive on British television", selling at a whopping £8,000 a second.

The insider added: “The final details are still being ironed out but there will definitely be more X Factor on screen this year than has ever been seen before. There are going to be longer shows and, hopefully, more of them.”

The live final weekend is expected to be broadcast from Wembley Arena in front of around 6,000 fans.

> Simon Cowell "desperate" to get Cheryl Cole back on The X Factor UK

> Simon Cowell to judge both the US and UK X Factor 2011 live shows

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