The X Factor 2012 rumour mill: will Robbie Williams be a judge?

Rotating guest judges might be just the gratuitous format change this year's show is crying out for

THE RUMOUR: Robbie Williams is to take time off from his increasingly relevant solo career to appear as a guest judge on the live shows. This “major revamp” of the format could see STARS also including Pink, Gwen Stefani and Bruno Mars take their turn as rotating JUDGES – in the sense that there’ll be a different one each week, not on Voice-style spinning CHAIRS, although chairs that turn round surely can’t be copyrighted. Presumably they’ll either sit behind a specially extended desk or, in Bruno Mars’s case, simply perch on somebody’s knee. Later in the series, X Factor Independent Traders CEO Simon Cowell will himself return.

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QUOTE FROM A “SOURCE” WHO PROBABLY DOESN’T EXIST: “The idea is to get the famous acts more involved in the show and the decision-making. They would be there to give their opinion as unbiased judges without having a vested interest in any of the acts. Producers know that having [Cowell] criticising and judging the other judges would be TV gold.” (Daily Star)

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RADIOTIMES.COM TRUTH RATING: 3/5. Why not? Having guest judges very nearly kept this year’s audition stages interesting and would give viewers something extra to talk about. Plus, it could spell a comeback for the refreshingly rude Mel B if someone famous drops out. And, five judges mean Louis Walsh can’t send the final decision to deadlock, thus avoiding “fix” claims and helping Downton Abbey to start on time.