New X Factor judge Gary Barlow has revealed his friends were surprised when he took the job on the show, but said he felt he owed it to people for being so "selfish" for the past 5 years! Speaking ahead of tonight's opening audition show, Gary added that the programme was an "institution" for the music industry.
"I've spent five years being selfish with the band and doing good things for us, so I thought what a good thing it would be to wave goodnight at Wembley and then go and put my time and effort into other peoples careers for the next five months," Gary explained.
He continued: "It just feels like a good thing to do.
"My friends were surprised because I’m usually quite private I do my job and I go home. Ive got a level of fame as an artist but, there’s no question about it, this is a different type of fame. Everyone was just a bit surprised.
The Take That star joins this year's show alongside fellow new judges Kelly Rowland and Tulisa Contostavlos, with the trio teaming up with Louis Walsh on the new look panel.
Talking to The Mirror, Gary also hit back at critics of the show, saying that the music industry needed a programme like The X Factor.
"This show has probably kept Sony Music alive with the sales of its acts, and that means it can reinvest in new acts, credible acts or whatever you want to call them," Gary told the newspaper.
He added: "This show has probably funded 10 credible careers. They wouldn’t want to admit it, but that is the truth.
"The music industry is in a bad way. If the X Factor was to go down you'd have every label in the UK crying out for a chance to get their artists on TV. This is a massive institution for our industry."
The X Factor 2011 starts tonight at 8PM on ITV1.