First picture as X Factor 2016 judges kick off auditions in Leicester

X Factor 2016 judges

Here's a first look at The X Factor 2016 judges as they start this year's auditions.

The line up for the 2016 X Factor panel was confirmed earlier in the month, less than two weeks before filming began this weekend.

Simon Cowell is the only remaining member of last year's judges with Cheryl, Rita Ora and Nick Grimshaw all gone.

In their place are a trio of familiar faces as Nicole Scherzinger, Sharon Osbourne and Louis Walsh return to the show.

Sharon said ahead of filming beginning for her third stint: “I’m overjoyed about going back to The X Factor, sitting with Lou, Lou, gorgeous Nicole and naughty Simon. But most of all, I can’t wait to meet baby Eric.”

Nicole is also back for her third appearance behind the judges desk, saying: "I'm excited about discovering, mentoring and winning with an exciting new act this year. And having had winning contestants in the past, Simon knows I will do it.”

Meanwhile Louis returns for his 12th series having missed out last year's show for the first time ever.

“He’d say otherwise but I knew Simon missed me last year!" Louis enthused.

Talking about the new series, Simon warned: "Be careful what you wish for!"

The judges’ auditions begun yesterday at the home of the Premier League Champions, Leicester City’s King Power Stadium in Leicester.

It's the first time that the show has visited Leicester as contestants performed for the panel in a more intimate setting than usual with no live audience or big arena venue.

The X Factor will air on ITV later this year with Dermot O'Leary back as host.

PIC: Syco/Thames/Dymond

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