There are three vacant spaces on The X Factor 2018 judging panel.
After it was revealed that Louis Walsh, Nicole Scherzinger and Sharon Osbourne wouldn’t be back this year, Simon Cowell is now the only familiar face left on the ITV show.
Heavily-rumoured names at the moment include Robbie Williams and his wife, Ayda Field. According to tabloid reports, the pair are in talks for a £10 million contract. However, it doesn’t seem as though anything is set in stone yet.
So who are the rumours and who will be joining Simon on the judges’ panel this year? Check out the latest gossip and rumours below.
Robbie has a long history with The X Factor, including performing on the show, collaborating with contestants and being a guest mentor at Judges’ Houses. He’s also often been rumoured for a spot on the judging panel, and now the whispers are louder than ever, especially after he made a surprise appearance at the Britain’s Got Talent live shows.
Now, he’s spoken about the rumours saying that he “hasn’t signed” a contract yet.
In an interview on This Morning on 19th June, Robbie said: “If there is an X Factor in my future, whether it be this year or next year or never, I’m scared for my own safety and health but not because of the people out there, the public, twitter or Instagram, my wife.
“She is an A+ student from Beverly Hills, incredibly square, she is like ‘why would you do that?’ She is supposed to be doing it with me. I have read those reports too. I would say…as it happens people say that every year and we say ‘no comment’. Yeah, there is a lot of me that would love to do it too.
“But as it happens, people are talking nothing has been signed. But watch this space. I promise if it is a go ahead and I do it you will be the first people I come and speak to about it. Yeah, shake. It’s a yes from me.”
Loose Women panellist and actress Adya Field is also one of the names being reportedly lined up to take a spot on the panel this year. She’s not known for being a singer, but she is well-known as Robbie Williams’ wife.
According to The Mirror, a source said: “[Ayda] thinks doing the show with Robbie will be a lot of fun – particularly as she wants to beat her husband at his own game. She can’t wait to get started.”
He’s been a guest mentor at Judges’ Houses, and now Louis Tomlinson is being rumoured as an X Factor judge.
Back in 2016, after it was announced that Nick Grimshaw would be leaving the show after one series, Louis was asked whether he would be interested in taking a seat on the show.
The One Direction star replied: “We’ve had no official conversation yet. But yeah, I mean, why wouldn’t I?”
With one Louis gone, surely there’s now room for another to take a seat on The X Factor?
Last year, when rumours were swirling about the judging line-up for 2017, superstar diva Mariah Carey was being rumoured to replace Nicole Scherzinger on the panel. Although it didn’t come to be then, the rumours are again going into overdrive that Mariah will be taking one of the spots on the show this year.
Previously, Mariah was a judge on American Idol. However, speaking about the experience the singer said it was “so boring and fake” being on the judges’ table. So we’re not holding our breath.
Alesha Dixon on Britain’s Got Talent (ITV)
Alesha might be best-known as a judge on Britain’s Got Talent, but she actually filled in as a stand-in judge on X Factor last year for both Nicole Scherzinger and Sharon Osbourne when they couldn’t make the auditions. She then stepped in again after Simon Cowell pulled out of the live shows when he had an accident.
Much like on BGT, Alesha was brilliant – which is perhaps why she’s now being rumoured for the X Factor panel this year.
However, Alesha herself has previously hinted she only has eyes for BGT. “I’d be lying if I didn’t say that in the past there’s been times when I’ve considered if that would be good for me, just because I’m such a huge music fan,” she previously said. “But I have to say the vibe of Britain’s Got Talent is second to none… There’s just this joy about the show and I wouldn’t want to lose that.”
Rita Ora was a judge on The Voice UK before defecting to The X Factor in 2015 when the glossy new line-up was revealed.
However, the following year she was unceremoniously dropped from the panel in favour of bringing back the old guard. Now, Rita’s being rumoured as a judge yet again, with Simon Cowell reportedly eyeing her for a place on the show this year.
The X Factor returns to ITV in the autumn