The X Factor is coming back for 2019. Yes, as the show enters its 16th year, things are going to look a little bit different, with the main series taking a break.


Here’s everything you need to know…

What is The X Factor: The Band?

A last-minute replacement for The X Factor: All Stars, The Band is Simon Cowell's latest attempt to recreate the success of One Direction.

A spokesman for the show told “Simon Cowell and The X Factor have discovered some of the biggest pop groups in history, including One Direction, Fifth Harmony and Little Mix. Now the aim is to find the new superstar group – though now in record-breaking time.”

Who are the judges for The X Factor: The Band?

While Louis Walsh and Nicole Scherzinger joined Cowell for The X Factor: Celebrity, only Cowell and Scherzinger will remain for The Band.

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The pair will be joined by a host of music industry stars - including artists Leona Lewis and Ella Eyre as well as super-producer Naughty Boy.

Can you get tickets for The X Factor: The Band?

Yes! Tickets are available through ApplauseStore for free.

What is The X Factor: Celebrity?

We've actually had a celebrity version of The X Factor before – the short-lived X Factor: Battle of the Stars, which aired in 2006 - but the revamped special is set to be suitably more serious than its predecessor.

The 2006 special, which was won by EastEnders' Lucy Benjamin, featured some truly horrific performances, including this frankly haunting solo from Gillian McKeith.

Despite having fairly healthy ratings at the time (it pulled in an average of 6 million a night) Cowell was previously dismissive of the show, calling it "pointless" and saying he would never do it again.

The X Factor: Celebrity is a far more serious take on the show, with our 15 competing celebrities actually battling it out to win a record deal.

"I said to the team, 'You’ve got to find some acts who you believe can sell records off the back of this, because if you don’t do that it won’t work,'" Cowell confessed.

"So that was the deal and we stuck to it."

Who won X Factor: Celebrity?

Megan McKenna wins X Factor 2019

Megan McKenna stormed to victory for the first ever X Factor: Celebrity.

The 27-year-old former The Only Way Is Essex star walked away with a Syco recording contract after beating off competition from The Chase quizmaster Jenny Ryan girl band V5 and identical twins Max and Harvey.

Speaking to host Dermot O’Leary after being named winner, McKenna said: “Thank you so much for everybody that voted for me. I’m living my dream and I can’t even explain how excited I am.”

Which other celebrities competed?

Olivia Olsen (ITV Pictures)
Olivia Olsen (ITV Pictures)

The actor – Kevin McHale: The former Glee star will be trying his luck against Cowell and co.

The journalist – Martin Bashir: According to MailOnline, the journalist, who previously interviewed Princess Diana and Michael Jackson, is the surprise star of this year’s show. “Bashir is a natural performer and has surprised everyone with a strong singing voice,” a source said.

The sports stars – Thom Evans, Ben Foden and Levi Davis: With Foden having previously missed a day’s training to audition for Pop Idol, Evans previously being in a boy band and Davis having studied music and performing arts, these rugby boys may surprise us by showing their secret singing side…

The actress – Victoria Ekanoye: Claiming that singing was her first love, the former Coronation Street star bowed out of the soap at the start of the year – could she win a place in our hearts with her surprising singing voice?

The X factor celebrity The Islanders ©Syco/Thames

The Islanders – Eyal, Wes, Samira and Zara: With Samira’s previous West End experience, Eyal’s time in a boyband, Wes’s smooth dance moves and Zara’s general good looks and charm, could the Love Island series 4 contestants pose a quadruple threat?

The footballing legend and actor – Vinnie Jones: The footie hardman, who previously played for Chelsea and captained the Welsh side, turned this hand to acting following his successful career. Having previously starred in Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, will his singing voice be as impressive as his football and acting skills?

The quiz champion – Jenny Ryan: Best known as The Vixen on The Chase, Jenny is hoping to prove she’s more than just a brainbox. “Am I good enough? This is the ultimate test,” she says in the trailer.

The social media stars – Max and Harvey: Having risen to fame on social media app, Max and Harvey are giving X Factor Celebrity a try, according to the Mirror. The pair’s significant following saw them land their very own CBBC show, but will X Factor Celebrity see them land a record contract?

The soap star – Jonny Labey: The soap star, who played Paul Coker in EastEnders, has previously been rumoured for the show. As a nod to his former character, Jonny walks past a pub called The Queen Vic in the trailer.

The influencers: According to reports, a Latin American girl group, with a combined total of 10 million followers, are hoping to impress Cowell and co.

The pro-dancer and actor - Brendan Cole and Jeremy Edwards: The close pals are teaming up to take on the judges in an attempt to win the competition.

The model and actress - Hayley Hasselhoff: The daughter of David Hasselhoff and Pamela Bach is thought to be making her debut on the talent show, describing this as "her big shot."

The film star - Olivia Olson: You may recognise Olivia from Love Actually, the little kid who stunned her school with her powerful singing voice at the nativity. Will her voice still be a knockout?

The talk show host - Ricki Lake: The Mirror revealed that the former talk show host will be picking up the mic once again, only to show off a different side to her voice.

Where was The X Factor: Celebrity filmed?

X Factor Celebrity ep 1 ©Syco/Thames

The first two films of The X Factor: Celebrity are filmed in Simon Cowell's Malibu mansion, before the show goes live.

The contestants rehearse and train in the house, but unlike in the civilian version of The X Factor, our celebrities will not be living together - in true celeb style, each has their own hotel room instead.

What will happen to The X Factor’s theme song?

It’s getting replaced because Simon Cowell absolutely can’t stand it. “‘We’re scrapping the theme song – I can’t listen to that again,” he told The Sun.

“You get into a habit with these things but it’s one of the three worst theme songs I’ve heard. I’m asking around LA to see if someone can write us something new.”

But don't expect a huge change - it's still recognisable as The X Factor theme, only slightly less harsh on the ear.

Who’s presenting The X Factor in 2019?

Dermot O'Leary has confirmed that he is returning to The X Factor for its two new shows this year.

What happened to The Xtra Factor?


The ITV2 spin-off was axed in 2017.

This year, it has been replaced by Xtra Bites, a show available to watch on ITV Hub, fronted by Vick Hope.

"I absolutely can’t wait to get stuck in to all the backstage action at The X Factor this year!" she said on her appointment.

"I love the show for its spectacle and extravagance, it really is a Saturday night TV institution that I can’t believe I get to be a part of, and with the old team back together I know it’ll be gold. With Dermot appearing through flames, Nicole’s Shamazing catchphrases, Louis giving us vintage Louis and of course Simon Cowell doing what he does best.


"Even better that it’s the all new celebrity version, which looks set to be more exciting and entertaining than ever, I’m hyped for the big personalities (and honestly, serious talent) both on and off the stage. I’m looking forward to running around behind the scenes to get the gossip, getting to know the contestants and judges and bringing you all those juicy Xtra Bites throughout the series. This should be a lot of fun!”