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The X Factor contestants and staff speak out in new BBC podcast series

The X Factor show on BBC

A new BBC podcast series will delve into The X Factor, with former contestants and staff speaking out.

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BBC News reporter Chi Chi Izundu will host the new six-part podcast series titled Offstage: Inside The X Factor. This series, launching on Saturday 27 January on BBC Radio 4, coincides with the 20th anniversary of The X Factor, one of Britain’s most iconic TV shows.

At its peak, The X Factor drew staggering audiences of nearly 17 million, transforming numerous ordinary individuals into global superstars. Offstage: Inside The X Factor aims to peel back the curtains, offering listeners a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the emotion, drama, and factors contributing to the show’s enduring success.

Host Chi Chi will explore the complete journey of the contestants, from auditions to live shows, and discuss the aftermath of their participation in this high-stakes show. The podcast promises to feature exclusive contributions from former contestants and staff, revealing both the joys and heartbreaks experienced in pursuit of fame and fortune.

Dermot O'Leary hosted The X Factor live shows
Dermot O’Leary hosted The X Factor live shows

Chi Chi Izundu said: “The X Factor was on our screens for 15 years and became a cultural phenomenon. Every year tens of thousands of people applied to get on the show, with some catapulted to stardom overnight. I wanted to know what happened to some of those X Factor contestants after their brief flirt with fame.”

Rhian Roberts, Commissioner Podcasts, Formats & Digital, BBC Radio 4, 3 and 4 Extra added: “In Offstage: Inside The X Factor, the team will share stories from behind the scenes, lifting the lid on the surreal X factor journey. Chi Chi’s podcast series is an insightful exploration of reality tv and pop culture, unpicking the contestant journey from start to finish.”

The series will air weekly on Saturdays at 11.30pm, starting from 27 January. For those eager to tune in, episodes will also be available a day earlier, from Friday 26 January, on BBC Sounds.

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