X Factor 2013: Sharon Osbourne boosts ratings as 9m watch 10th series return
The X Factor received a considerable ratings boost this weekend when more than 9 million people tuned in to watch the show's return in what has been branded the “Sharon Osbourne effect".
Straight-talking Sharon, 60, who left in the ITV talent show in 2008 amidst reports of tension with fellow judge Dannii Minogue, helped Saturday night's launch show pull in an average audience of 9.2 million - 500,000 more than last year's debut.
The show had a peak audience of 10.3 million and ITV bosses will be hoping the figures mark an end to the downward slide ratings have been taking since Simon Cowell fled the UK judging panel for the American version three years ago.
The lowest audience since 2006 tuned in to watch James Arthur win last year’s finale. The competition’s much hyped conclusion saw an average audience of 11.1 million compared with the 13.1 million who watched Little Mix win in 2011.
In 2010, when Cowell was still on the judging panel, 17.2 million tuned in to see Matt Cardle triumph.
Last year ratings for the series opener fell to 8.7, considerably less than the 12 million of 2011.
The return of original judge Sharon Osbourne, wife of Black Sabbath frontman Ozzy, has been hailed by audiences as a major draw for the talent show now in its tenth series.
Piers Morgan tweeted on Saturday night: “No surprise to see @MrsSOsbourne trending - she makes everything more amusing. #XFactor”
Sharon, who replaced N-Dubz singer Tulisa, responded to a storm of congratulatory tweets from fans last night.
“Your @TheXFactor tweets are fabulous! Thank you all so much for the love, sending it right back at you! Big hug, Mrs.O”
She added: “After 10 years @TheXFactor panel is the way it should be, you’ve got 2 artists & 2 managers. Artists & managers look at talent differently.”
The X Factor has for many years been one of ITV's bankers in terms of audiences and advertising. The channel will hope changes to the show's structure judge will keep viewers tuning in.
This series saw the re-introduction of intimate auditions held before the judging panel only. Previously contestants had been auditioned before an arena audience.
The return of X Factor rival, Strictly Come Dancing, later this year will also up the stakes as the broadcasters battle to dominate Saturday night viewing. TV personality Vanessa Feltz and BBC Breakfast host Susanna Reid have already been confirmed for the BBC ballroom dancing show.
The X Factor judges: Louis Walsh, Sharon Osbourne, Gary Barlow and Nicole Scherzinger
Maisie Williams single-handedly rises to the challengeTV
Academy criticised after no non-white actors nominated
tvAn expose of hooliganism masquerading as an ideological battle
artLee Hadwin can't draw when he's awake, but by night he's an artist
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 King Salman: Just five days in, Saudi Arabia's new king has already overseen a beheading
- 2 The BBC has just done more to eradicate ‘terrorism’ than all our wars since 9/11
- 3 Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
- 4 Presidential optical illusion offers clues to how brain processes faces
- 5 Grumpy Roald Dahl letter warning student to 'eschew beastly adjectives' rediscovered after 35 years
Ed Sheeran texts Noel Gallagher to offer him Wembley Stadium tickets after that rant
Heavy metal producer's corpse to be mutilated by models as per his dying wish
Costa Book Awards 2015: H is for Hawk named book of the year
Run DMC's Darryl McDaniels: 'Kendrick Lamar is killing it, but radios are too afraid to play him'
Grumpy Roald Dahl letter warning student to 'eschew beastly adjectives' rediscovered after 35 years
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
French court convicts three over homophobic tweets, in case hailed as a 'significant victory' by LGBT rights campaigners
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British Muslim school children suffering a backlash of abuse following Paris attacks
British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford faces execution by firing squad in Indonesia
Louise Mensch says 'F**K YOU' in explosive tweets about David Cameron, Saudi Embassy and the Queen over King Abdullah tributes