All eyes will be on “wild card” judge Nick Grimshaw as The X Factor returns

He says he’s not nervous - but this new job could have a huge impact on Grimmy's career, says Mark Jefferies

Even before the new series of The X Factor has started, it seems all eyes when it comes to the judging panel, will be on Nick ‘Grimmy’ Grimshaw.

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The Radio1 breakfast DJ and TV host has come a long way in the last decade.

Earlier this week he told me how he began his career as an intern at MTV, before helping friends on video shoots and taking any work he could to pursue his dream of being on Radio and TV.

Now, via T4 on Channel 4, BBC3 panel shows and stints in various slots on Radio 1, he has the chance to become a household name thanks to X Factor.

Of the opening Manchester auditions, Grimmy says: “I am not nervous, I just want it to start. I have been talking about it for ages and nothing happened. I kinda just want it to start because I feel like it is not real until it starts.”

Grimmy is the wild card pick from Simon Cowell this year, who was apparently charmed by him when they met for a Radio 1 interview at Cowell’s Syco office in West London. 

Cowell and Cheryl Fernandez-Versini are familiar faces to viewers, and whilst Rita Ora hasn’t been a full time judge before, she was a guest in a previous series and has done a full year on The Voice where she boosted ratings.

Cowell is banking on Grimmy bringing in youngsters and the line up does feel fresh and more exciting than in the last few years, with two new additions and Louis Walsh finally heading for the exit.

Watching Grimmy give a Q&A for another new TV show this week, MTV’s Soundchain, he was at ease and won over the journalists by being down-to-earth and funny. 

That is exactly why he has support in high places and the likes of Kate Moss and Florence Welch would count him as friends.

But when he was announced as a judge, it was hardly met with widespread delight on social media.

Like his Radio 1 predecessor Chris Moyles, Grimmy is a Marmite character, probably loved and disliked in equal measures by different people.

And while he has hosted a number of shows before, being a primetime TV judge is very different, especially when we get down to the live shows and there is no time to edit.

Explaining why he took the job, Grimmy says: “Every Saturday my friends will come to my house or I will go to theirs and we will watch it together. I like that it feels inclusive and everyone can talk about it – your mum, a cabbie, I can talk about it on the radio. Everybody has a reference point.”

So when it comes to The X Factor, let’s hope the cabbies are happy for Grimmy to be the one in the driving seat.

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Mark Jefferies is Showbiz Editor at the Daily Mirror