X Factor 2014: Age limit lowered to 14 once again

The X Factor 2013 - London Open Auditions

The X Factor 2014 age limit is to be lowered to 14 this year.

It's the second time that bosses have reduced the age limit below the usual 16 year old cut off point.

The last series that saw the lower age limit was in 2008, although the show's sister programme Britain's Got Talent has always allowed acts of any change to audition. In the US the age limit was 12.

According to the Daily Mirror, X Factor boss Simon Cowell hopes the move will boost the talent in the live shows.

“Simon is keen to change the rules and shake things up and lowering the entry age will do that," a show source said this week. “He remembered in 2008 that Liam Payne auditioned and got to the judges houses stage.

"He went on to join One Direction a couple of years later so he is hoping more young people like Liam get involved.

"It should also mean more new faces and new voices on the show which could help in the battle with Strictly.”

The lower age limit however has come under some criticism with 15-year-old contestant Emily Nakanda being axed from the live shows in 2007 over a so-called 'happy slapping' incident.

And former X Factor judge Gary Barlow is on record saying that even the 16-year-old limit is too low, remarking: “Sixteen is just too young to be in this competition with this kind of pressure.

The X Factor auditions 2014 start their open try outs this weekend in Ireland, the beginning of the show's biggest audition tour ever which will visit a total of over 40 cities.

Mobile auditions will be taking place across the country with bigger open auditions in Plymouth, Cardiff, London, Birmingham, Edinburgh, Newcastle, Manchester, and Liverpool.

X Factor 2014 auditions: Open dates and venues

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