Rita Ora Replacing Mel B as U.K. 'X Factor' Judge

Rita Ora

Rita Ora arrives at the 2015 Vanity Fair Oscar Party Hosted By Graydon Carter at Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts on Feb. 22, 2015 in Beverly Hills, California. 

Rita Ora and BBC radio host Nick Grimshaw will join The X Factor U.K. on ITV as judges. They will replace Mel B and Louis Walsh.

Also confirmed on Tuesday (June 16) was that Cheryl Fernandez-Versini and show creator Simon Cowell would remain on the judging panel.

The new panel is part of a number of changes to this year’s 12th season of the U.K. X Factor, which also includes new hosts in Caroline Flack and Olly Murs. The new season will "see the auditions move out of the rooms and straight in to the arenas, with hopefuls having to perform in front of an arena audience from the start in the hope of making it through to the next stage," the show producers said. Further changes are expected be announced later.

'The X Factor' Names Olly Murs & Caroline Flack as New Hosts

Ora had been a coach on the BBC version of The Voice, replacing Kylie Minogue. She also first appeared on X Factor in 2012 as a guest judge. "I am excited to be coming back to The X Factor -- I had a ball here in 2012. This is a journey I can't wait to embark on to find some talented singers."

As the host of BBC Radio 1’s Breakfast show since 2012, Grimshaw has been known as a fan of X Factor. Said Grimshaw: "I love X Factor and have watched the series religiously since it started, so obviously I'm hugely excited to be joining the show. Music is my job and my passion and I'm really looking forward to seeing what talent we can find and nurture this year."

Fernandez-Versini returns to the judging panel for her fifth season after returning last year. She was previously a judge on the show from season 5 to 7. "The addition of Rita and Grimmy along with some interesting changes we've made to the format has refocused us to do what we do best, finding talent and making stars," she said. "I cannot wait to get started!”

Said Cowell: "The combination of Nick, Cheryl and Rita is going to be a lot of fun! They all bring a lot of enthusiasm and passion for music to the show.”

X Factor returns to ITV in the fall.

This article was originally published by The Hollywood Reporter.


The Biz premium subscriber content has moved to Billboard.com/business.

To simplify subscriber access, we have temporarily disabled the password requirement.