X Factor 2014: Cheryl Cole's return sparks surge in auditions

The X Factor 2013 - London Open Auditions

Cheryl Cole's return to The X Factor 2014 has sparked a surge in auditions.

Interest in X Factor applications is up 40% in the last week compared to average for the previous month, according to our own data.

It follows the announcement last week that Cheryl would be back on the panel this year alongside Simon Cowell, who announced his own return back in February.

Unsurprisingly singers are lining up to perform for the pair and two other as yet unconfirmed judges.

The new panel may also draw performers back to X Factor and away from Britain's Got Talent, which has seen hopefuls applying just to be able to sing for Simon.

Last week Cheryl and Simon launched a plea for budding artists to try out for this year's new series.

“I’m back on the X Factor… and so is trouble,” Simon said. “We are looking to find a huge star this year.

“If you’ve got what it takes, then why don’t you audition?”

Cheryl added: “The X Factor has created some massive careers… Please come and see us. It changed my life, it could change yours too…”

X Factor boss Simon previously told viewers that the show would be more "serious" this year.

He tweeted: “And to anyone considering applying for X factor this year. Do it. We are taking this year very seriously. It’s all about the talent”

The first X Factor 2014 auditions begin next month in April with filming starting in the summer.

The show will air on ITV this autumn.

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