The X-Factor Wiki

The X Factor UK is the original version of The X Factor. It began in August of 2004 and is currently on indefinite hiatus as of February 2020. On 27 August 2020, it was suggested by ITV bosses that the show's hiatus may be indefinite; pending Cowell's decision on when to recommence the competition. On 28 July 2021 it was announced that The X Factor has been axed after 17 years.

Main Series[]

Series 1[]

Main article: Series 1

Series 1 began in September 4, 2004, with a judging lineup of Simon Cowell, Louis Walsh, and Sharon Osbourne and hosted by Kate Thornton. This season was eventually won by 35-year-old Steve Brookstein, who was mentored by Cowell in the Over 25s category, marking his first win throughout the series. Walsh's Groups act, G4, were runner-up. Osbourne's 16-24s act, Tabby Callaghan, came in third place.

Series 2[]

Main article: Series 2

Series 2 started in August 20, 2005, and utilised the same host and panel from the first season. This season was eventually won by 21-year-old Shayne Ward who was mentored by Louis Walsh in the 16-24s category, becoming the latter's first win. Sharon Osbourne's act, Andy Abraham from the Overs category, was runner-up. Simon Cowell's Groups act, Journey South, finished in third place.

Series 3[]

Main article: Series 3

Series 3 started in August 19, 2006, and utilised the same panel from the first two seasons, as well as the host. This season was eventually won by 21-year-old Leona Lewis, who was mentored by Simon Cowell in the 16-24s category, becoming his second act to win. Fellow 16-24s act, Ray Quinn, was runner-up. Ben Mills, mentored by Sharon Osbourne in the Overs category, landed in third place.

Series 4[]

Main article: Series 4

Series 4 started in August 18, 2007, having utilised the same panel from the first three seasons plus having added a fourth judge, Dannii Minogue. In addition, Dermot O'Leary replaced Thornton as host. This season was eventually won by 18-year-old Leon Jackson, who was mentored by Minogue—in an augural victory—in the Boys category. Fellow Boys contestant, Welsh singer Rhydian Roberts, was the runner-up. Third place finishers were brother-and-sister Groups duo, Same Difference, mentored by Simon Cowell.

Series 5[]

Main article: Series 5

Series 5 started in August 16, 2008, and utilised the same panel and host from the previous season, with the exception of Osbourne, who was replaced by Cheryl Cole. This season was eventually won by 20-year-old Alexandra Burke, who was mentored by Cole—in another inaugural victory—in the Girls category. Louis Walsh was the runner-up mentor, with R&B boyband JLS. Simon Cowell's act from the Boys category, Eoghan Quigg, came in third place. This was also the first series in which acts were allowed to sing different songs for their Bottom Two sing-offs, as opposed to previously giving encores of the same songs they did during the main live shows.

Series 6[]

Main article: Series 6

Series 6 started in August 22, 2009, and utilised the same host and panel from the previous season. This season was eventually won by 18-year-old Joe McElderry, who was mentored by Cheryl Cole in the Boys category. Until 2015, he was the youngest winner of the original series. This was also the only time in the UK series' entire run a mentor's acts were consecutive champions. Simon Cowell's Overs act, Olly Murs (who would later go on to co-host The Xtra Factor UK and even series 12 of the main series, both alongside Caroline Flack) finished as runner-up. Dannii Minogue's Girls act, Stacey Solomon, came in third place.

Series 7[]

Main article: Series 7

Series 7 started in August 21, 2010, and utilised the same panel and host from the previous two seasons. This season was eventually won by 27-year-old Matt Cardle, who was mentored by Dannii Minogue in the Boys category. Rebecca Ferguson was the runner-up from the Girls category, mentored by Cheryl Cole. One Direction, mentored by Simon Cowell in the Groups category, finished in third place; while another Girls act, Cher Lloyd, came in fourth place. This was the only series in which four acts were in the Final together. The Semi-Final had a fifth place finish for the first time, in Mary Byrne from Louis Walsh's Overs category.

For the first time, the number of contestants per category expanded from three to four (and thus overall, twelve to sixteen) via wildcards being brought back, who were initially cut at the Judges' Houses. Live shows featured more double eliminations to maintain schedule, in which the act from the bottom three with the lowest amount of votes is immediately dismissed and the other two remaining then sing in the showdown as usual.

Series 8[]

Main article: Series 8

Series 8 started in August 20, 2011, and marked the departures of Simon Cowell, Dannii Minogue, and Cheryl Cole, while Louis Walsh remained. Their replacements were Gary Barlow, Kelly Rowland, and Tulisa. Dermot O'Leary continued to be host for his fifth consecutive year. This season was eventually won by four-member female vocal group Little Mix, who were mentored by Tulisa in the Groups category. They were the first group to win the original series, and thus far, the only girl group as well. Barlow's act, Marcus Collins, finished as runner-up from the Boys category. Amelia Lily, mentored by Rowland in the Girls category, reached third place–albeit only from Top 7 onward (see more below).

This season also had a Top 16, but instead had their mentors select one act from their respective category to eliminate at the end of the first show. Midway through the season, Boys contestant Frankie Cocozza was ejected from the competition due to his behavioral issues. The show decided that since the first four acts axed never faced a live vote, it would be fair to allow one of them a chance to rejoin the competition. A public vote was held, and Lily won the right to re-enter in a landslide majority.

Series 9[]

Main article: Series 9

Series 9 started in August 18, 2012, and utilised the same panel from the previous season with the exception of Kelly Rowland, who was replaced by Nicole Scherzinger. This season was eventually won by 24-year-old James Arthur, who was mentored by Scherzinger in the Boys category. He was the first-ever act to win the UK version after surviving a Bottom 2 sing-off showdown (against Ella Henderson). Runner-up was fellow Boys singer, Jahméne Douglas. This season's twist involved a Top 13, in which one act cut at each of the four Judges' Houses were optioned in a public vote to enter and compete during the season. Ultimately 3rd place finisher Christopher Maloney, Gary Barlow's Boys act, won with ⅔ of the vote and maintained a stranglehold of the weekly vote for the majority of the season.

As of October 2017, Arthur is the first-ever participant to have had two singles sell over a million copies in his homeland and he has the two biggest-selling singles in the original show's history. The other Boys contender, Rylan Clark, who finished in fifth place, would later go on to co-host The Xtra Factor Live with Matt Edmondson during the 13th series.

Series 10[]

Main article: Series 10

Series 10 started in August 31, 2013, and utilised the same host and panel from the previous season, with the exception of returning original mentor Sharon Osbourne, who replaced Tulisa. The amount of contestants returned back to twelve this season. The series was eventually won by 36-year-old Sam Bailey, who was mentored by Osbourne in the Over 25s category, rendering this her first and only championship. Louis Walsh's Boys acts, Nicholas McDonald and Luke Friend, were runner-up and third place, respectively.

Series 11[]

Main article: Series 11

Series 11 started in August 30, 2014, and saw the return of Louis Walsh as judge and the departures of Gary Barlow, Sharon Osbourne, and Nicole Scherzinger, who were replaced by Simon Cowell, Cheryl Fernandez-Versini, and Mel B. Dermot O'Leary returned as host. This season was eventually won by 29-year-old Ben Haenow, who was mentored by Cowell—his third victory—in the Over 25s category. The runner-up was another Overs contender, Fleur East. Boys act Andrea Faustini, mentored by Mel, came in third place. This series returned to a Top 16 format, with Wildcards chosen by each judge for a different mentor's category. Mel bypassed Walsh's Groups options, and instead selected Overload Generation, who were eliminated at Bootcamp.

Series 12[]

Main article: Series 12

Series 12 started in August 29, 2015, and saw the departures of Louis Walsh and Mel B, who were replaced by Nick Grimshaw and Rita Ora. Olly Murs and Caroline Flack jointly replaced Dermot O'Leary as presenters, after being upgraded from The Xtra Factor UK. This season was eventually won by 17-year-old Louisa Johnson, who was mentored by Ora in the Girls category. She overtook Joe McElderry's record as the show's youngest winner. Cheryl Fernandez-Versini's Groups act, Reggie 'N' Bollie, finished as runner-up. Grimshaw's Boys act, Ché Chesterman, came in 3rd place. Monica Michael from the Girls category was cut at Judges' Houses, but brought back as a WildCard to form a Top 13.

Series 13[]

Main article: Series 13

Series 13 started in August 27, 2016, and saw only the return of Simon Cowell from the previous season. Caroline Flack and Olly Murs were replaced by Dermot O'Leary as presenter. Meanwhile, Rita Ora, Nick Grimshaw, and Cheryl were replaced by Sharon Osbourne, Louis Walsh, and Nicole Scherzinger as mentors/judges. This season was eventually won by 23-year-old Matt Terry, who was mentored by Scherzinger in the Boys category, achieving her second victory. The runner-up was Saara Aalto, mentored by Osbourne in the Overs category. 5 After Midnight, mentored by Walsh in the Groups category, came in third place. Due to a controversy, Brooks Way was compelled to withdraw from the competition after Week 1; Four of Diamonds, who were axed at Judges' Houses, replaced them in the competition as of Live Show 2.

Series 14[]

Main article: Series 14

Series 14 started in September 2, 2017, with the full panel from the previous series returning to the judging panel, plus host as well. This was the first series since 2004 to premiere in September rather than August. It was won four-member male vocal group Rak-Su, who were only the second group and first boyband to win the original series. They were part of the Groups category, mentored by Simon Cowell. The runner-up was Girls act Grace Davies, mentored by Sharon Osbourne. Overs category act Kevin Davy White, mentored by Nicole Scherzinger, finished in third place. This was Louis Walsh's final series as a judge/mentor (with his last-standing Boys contestant being 4th-placer Lloyd Macey) after nearly 14 consecutive seasons, with the exception of the 11th series. This series abandoned sing-offs and instead, simply adhered to public vote-based eliminations.

Series 15[]

Main article: Series 15

Series 15 started on September 1, 2018. Dermot O'Leary returned as host for the final time, as of now. Although it was initially rumoured that Nicole Scherzinger and Louis Walsh would be returning to the judging panel, they both confirmed their departures and in June 2018 the final line-up was confirmed as Simon Cowell and new judges Robbie Williams (former mentor Gary Barlow's ex-Take That bandmate), his wife Ayda Field, and ex-One Direction star Louis Tomlinson. Sharon Osbourne was originally set to return for the live shows as an impartial judge but announced on September 30 that she would no longer be taking part. This season was eventually won by 24-year-old Dalton Harris, who was mentored by Tomlinson in the Boys category. He was the first-ever foreigner to win the original series. The runner-up was Scarlett Lee, mentored by Cowell in the Girls category. The third placer, Anthony Russell, was also in the Boys category.

After this series, the future of the UK version is on indefinite hiatus, with no plans to revive it at this time. There have been speculations, but nothing concrete to suggest its return.


Extra Series[]

The Xtra Factor[]

Main article: The Xtra Factor UK

The Xtra Factor was a tv program that premiered in 2004. It showed unreleased footage of the the show. The program ended in 2016 and was replaced by Xtra Bites UK.

Xtra Bites[]

Main article: Xtra Bites UK

Spin Offs[]

The X Factor: Battle of the Stars[]

Main article: The X Factor: Battle of the Stars

The X Factor: Battle of the Stars was a celebrity version of The X Factor which aired from the 29th of May to the 5th of June. Simon Cowell, Louis Walsh and Sharon Osbourne returned as judges with Kate Thornton returning as the host. The competition was eventually won by actress Lucy Benjamin.

The X Factor: Celebrity[]

Main article: The X Factor: Celebrity

The X Factor: Celebrity is a British celebrity special edition of The X Factor, which premiered from 12 October to 30 November 2019 on ITV.

The X Factor: The Band[]

Main article:  The X Factor: The Band 

The X Factor: The Band is a upcoming Band version of the X Factor. The series will premiere on 9 December 2019. 

Cancelled Series[]

The X Factor: All Stars[]

Main article: The X Factor: All Stars

The X Factor: All Stars was a planned All Stars soon off series that was going to air near the end of 2019. The series was axed and replaced by The X Factor: The Band. Read more...