The X Factor UK (Series 1)
Series 1
Broadcast from 4 September 2004 – 11 December 2004
Judges Simon Cowell
Sharon Osbourne
Louis Walsh
Presenters Kate Thornton
Ben Shephard
Network ITV
Number of finalists 9
Winner Steve Brookstein
Runner-up G4
Notable returnees 4Tune (2),
Chenai Zinyuku (2)
Ratings 7.4 millions
Next Series 2
The X Factor is a British television music competition to find new singing talent; the winner of which receives a £1 million recording contract with the Syco Music record label. The first series

was broadcast from 4 September to 11 December 2004. The competition was split into several stages: auditions, bootcamp and live shows, with Louis Walsh, Sharon Osbourne and Simon Cowell as judges. Kate Thornton presented the show on ITV, whilst Ben Shephard presented spin-off show The Xtra Factor on ITV2.

Auditions were held in Dublin, Newcastle, London, Leeds, Birmingham and Glasgow.

The series was won by Steve Brookstein, with Cowell as the winning mentor. Brookstein went on to have minor chart success, with runners-up G4 achieving two platinum albums before splitting up in 2007.

The judging panel consisted of Irish music manager Louis Walsh, music manager and television personality Sharon Osbourne and label head Simon Cowell, who conceived the idea to create a new talent show with a broader range of auditionees to its predecessor Pop Idol.

Kate Thornton presented the show on ITV, whilst Ben Shephard presented spin-off show The Xtra Factor on ITV2.



Auditions: The audition age for this series was 16 and older and unlike its predecessor, groups could also audition.  Auditions were held in Dublin, Newcastle, London, Leeds, Birmingham and Glasgow.   Live Shows: In Week 6, each act performed twice in the first show (with the judges offering their opinions after the second songs), and reprised one of their songs in the results show. The act with the fewest public votes was eliminated at the end of the second show, with the judges no longer having a say in who left.


Contestant Category Finish Elimination
The X Factor 2005 Live Tour
Robertahowettmini Roberta Howett
23, Dublin, Ireland
16-24s 9th
week one
Majority vote
Veritykeayesmini Verity Keays
51, Grimsby, Lincolnshire
Over 25s 8th
week two
Majority vote
2togomini 2 to Go
23-24, Notts
Groups 7th
week three
Majority vote
Voiceswithsoulmini Voices with Soul
25-42, Luton
Groups 6th
week four
Majority vote
Cassiecomptonmini Cassie Compton
17, North London
16-24s 5th
week five
Majority vote
Rowettasatchell Rowetta Satchell
38, Manchester
Over 25s 4th
week six
Fewest public votes
Tabbycallaghanmini Tabby Callaghan
23, Sligo, Ireland
16-24s 3rd
week seven
Fewest public votes
G4mini G4
22-24, London
Groups Runners-up
week eight
Fewest public votes
Stevebrooksteinmini Steve Brookstein
35, London
Over 25s Winner
week eight
Most public votes

Selection process


See: List of The X Factor UK auditionees (series 1)

Prior to the audition phase, advertisements appeared on ITV, in newspapers, and trade magazines, promising that the new show would encourage groups, and while the emphasis was on singing, would welcome those who played instruments and wrote their own songs. Thus the show would differentiate itself from its predecessor, Pop Idol.

Auditions were held in Dublin, Newcastle, London, Leeds, Birmingham and Glasgow.


See: Bootcamp (UK series 1)

After the initial auditions, each judge was randomly allocated a category:

  • Simon Cowell: Over 25s
  • Sharon Osbourne: 16-24s
  • Louis Walsh: Groups

Each judge chose twelve acts from their category to go through to round two of bootcamp. After bootcamp, each judge selected five acts to progress to "judges' homes".

Judges' Houses

See: Judges' Houses (UK series 1)

Summary of judges' homes
Judge Category Location Guest mentor(s) Contestants eliminated
Cowell Over 25s London Annie Skates, Sinitta Lloyd Wade, Odis Palmer
Osbourne 16-24s Buckinghamshire Mark Hudson, Terry Longden, Jack Osbourne Andy Steed, Megan Ramsay
Walsh Groups Dublin Linda Martin, Faye Sawyer, David Laudat 4Tune, Advance

Live Shows

Results Summary

Weekly results per contestant
Week 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Eliminated Robertahowettmini Veritykeayesmini 2togomini Voiceswithsoulmini Cassiecomptonmini Rowettasatchell Tabbycallaghanmini G4mini Stevebrooksteinmini
Steve Brookstein Safe Safe Safe Safe Safe Safe Safe Winner
(Week 8)
G4 Safe Safe Safe Bottom two Safe Safe Safe Runner-up
(Week 8)
Tabby Callaghan Safe Safe Safe Safe Bottom two Safe 3rd Eliminated
(week 7)
Rowetta Satchell Safe Safe Safe Safe Safe 4th Eliminated
(week 6)
Cassie Compton Safe Safe Safe Safe Bottom two Eliminated
(week 5)
Voices with Soul Bottom two Safe Bottom two Bottom two Eliminated
(week 4)
2 to Go Safe Bottom two Bottom two Eliminated
(week 3)
Verity Keays Safe Bottom two Eliminated
(week 2)
Roberta Howett Bottom two Eliminated
(week 1)
Bottom two Howett,
Voices with Soul
2 to Go,
2 to Go,
Voices with Soul
Voices with Soul
No final showdown or judges' votes;
results were based on public votes alone
Walsh's vote
to eliminate
Howett Keays 2 to Go Voices with Soul Compton
Osbourne's vote
to eliminate
Voices with Soul Keays 2 to Go Voices with Soul None (refused)
Cowell's vote
to eliminate
Howett 2 to Go None (majority) G4 Compton
Eliminated Roberta Howett
(2 of 3)
Majority vote
Verity Keays
(2 of 3)
Majority vote
2 to Go
(2 of 3)
Majority vote
Voices with Soul
(2 of 3)
Majority vote
Cassie Compton
(2 of 3)
Majority vote


This series achieved an average of 7.4 million viewers per episode. The lowest of and The X Factor UK series so far

Episode Air date Official ITV1 rating (millions) Weekly rank (millions)
Auditions 1 4 September 5.25 21
Auditions 2 11 September 6.53 17
Auditions 3 18 September 7.08 14
Auditions 4 25 September 7.24 16
Auditions 5 2 October 6.71 18
Bootcamp 1 9 October 6.69 21
Bootcamp 2 7.89 17
Judges' houses 16 October 7.32 17
Live show 1 23 October 7.18 17
Live results 1 7.83 15
Live show 2 30 October 6.53 20
Live results 2 7.26 17
Live show 3 6 November 6.89 19
Live results 3 7.02 18
Live show 4 13 November 7.42 15
Live results 4 6.88 18
Live show 5 20 November 7.91 16
Live results 5 7.98 14
Live show 6 27 November 8.06 22
Live results 6 8.01 23
Live semi-final 4 December 7.79 20
Live results 7 7.52 23
Final 11 December 8.62 15
Final results 9.96 8


It was reported in tabloid newspapers that the show's audition process was unfair after Walsh was accused of cheating. He was thought to have advised the group Co-Ed on things such as song choices, which caused controversy after it was revealed that he had actually previously managed Co-Ed after they appeared on the Irish version of Popstars in 2001. Around the same time, footage of Cowell and Osbourne coaching contestants to argue back to the judges was being auctioned over the Internet.

Prior to the first live show, Osbourne accused Cowell of "rigging" the show by editing footage to make the contestants in his category more appealing to viewers. Osbourne attracted criticism again following the final in December 2004 when she was forced to make an apology after attracting what Cowell referred to as "record complaints" over an outburst by Osbourne in which she criticised eventual winner Steve Brookstein. This left her place on the show uncertain, although she returned for the second series in 2005.

Despite finishing as runners-up, G4 have since referred to The X Factor as "just panto".


  • Both the winning act and runner-up performed different potential winner's singles. This would not happen again until the 2010 series.