X Factor drops minimum audition age to 14 years

Reality show “widens the net” as it opens the doors to singers younger than 16


Children from the age of 14 can audition for this year’s X Factor, show sources have confirmed.


The minimum age limit has in recent years been 16, but is dropping to 14 as it was in the 2007 and 2008 series.

“We often do little tweaks to the format and change things, whether it’s changes to the judging line-up or introducing things in the live shows – this is just another part of that,” a source close to the show told RadioTimes.com.

“There’s lots of talented 14 and 15 year olds out there, so we thought, let’s see what we get by widening the net and if there’s going to be someone interesting thrown up.

“You just have to go onto YouTube and look at the talented people and the kind of things people are posting and realise that there are lots of kids out there that deserve a crack at it.”

Famously Liam Payne first auditioned for the show at 14 during the 2008 series. He returned two years later and, under the mentorship of Simon Cowell, went on to form a little band that goes by the name of One Direction.

This change in age is still notably different to fellow reality show Britain’s Got Talent, which allows acts of all ages to take part. The show has come under criticism for this in the past, but has seen talent such as children’s dance act Pre-Skool make the live semi-finals, with their youngest dancer just 5 years of age.  

However, with Overs category competitor Sam Bailey storming to victory in last year’s series of the X Factor, perhaps it’ll be a tough gig for younger talent to take the title.

The X Factor returns later this year on ITV