Everything you need to know about X Factor 2016: Start date, hosts, judges and categories

It's time... TO FACE... THE MUSIC!

Whatever your feelings about it, there's no escaping The X Factor. The 13th series of the singing talent show will soon be back on our screens, with various changes in the works to excite viewers of the Marmite national treasure that has been a focal point of primetime television this millennium. 

The judges are locked in, the hosts have signed up, the talent have auditioned and categories have been assigned, so here's everything you need to know about the return of that big red X...

MORE: The X Factor effect: 9 unforgettable auditions that sent the songs back up the Official Chart

Who will be hosting?

Last year's new hosts Caroline Flack and Olly Murs are moving on after just one season, and we're set for a return to dad-dancing and bear hugs as Dermot O'Leary will be returning to present, his ninth season in total. We wonder if Kate Thornton's comeback invite was lost in the mail?


What about The Xtra Factor?

It is not just the main show that has undergone some major changes. Last year's duo Melvin Odoom and Rochelle Humes will not be returning, and have instead been replaced by BBC Radio 1's Matt Edmondson and Big Brother's Bit on the Side anchor and former X Factor contestant Rylan Clark-Neal. 

This also means Rylan will be reunited with his former mentor Nicole Scherzinger. See the two of them recreate one of The X Factor's most memorable moments:

In a slight change to previous years, The Xtra Factor will be live from the very first episode. Making a debut on the show is Capital FM DJ Roman Kemp, who will be keeping an eye on what's happening on social media. It sounds exciting, but we're not going to lie, we're gutted Konnie Huq wasn't asked to return

When does it start?

We haven't got too long to wait. The X Factor will return on Saturday August 27 at 8pm. And it's a launch weekend double-bill: the next episode of live auditions will be on Sunday 28 August.

MORE: The winner takes it all? The biggest selling X Factor winner's singles revealed

Who's on The X Factor judging panel for 2016?

Three of last year's line-up – Cheryl, Nick Grimshaw and Rita Ora – will not be returning this year. Replacing them are three returnees to the panel: Nicole Scherzinger, Sharon Osbourne and you guessed it... Louis Walsh! Just like the show itself Lulu keeps bouncing back. Mel B will also return as a guest judge for some auditions, standing in for Nicole while she's away working on a prior commitment. 


This year's panel is the first in the show's history where all four active judges have already won a series in the past; Louis with Shayne Ward in 2005, Nicole with James Arthur in 2012, Sharon with Sam Bailey in 2013 and Simon with Steve Brookstein in 2004, Leona Lewis in 2006 and Ben Haenow in 2014. Simon is already the only judge to win it three times – is a fourth victory on the cards?

What categories do the judges have?

They've only gone and gave Louis the Groups again! 

Simon will be looking after the Girls category for the first time ever, while Nicole will once again be with the Boys, hoping to replicate the magic of 2012 when her Boys made up the final two.

Sharon will be mentoring the Overs for a fourth time, while Louis has been given the Groups for the sixth time in the 12 years he's featured on the panel. Let's hope he's understood the premise of the dreaded chair challenge and doesn't give every single group a seat like he did in 2014. 

Who are the guests at the Judges' Houses stage?

The "Judges Houses" part of the competition is full of celebrity guests, ugly crying, and, hopefully, a glimpse of Sinitta in a ridiculous outfit. 

First up, Robbie Williams has been drafted in to help Sharon Osbourne pick her Overs. This is the second time they've paired up – Robbie helped Sharon pick Sam Bailey in 2013. That went rather well so we can see why Shazza would want to bring back her lucky charm.

Helping out Simon Cowell will be the artist formerly known as Cheryl Tweedy/Cole/Fernandez-Versini (she's just Cheryl now) and giving Louis a hand is the only person he's guided to X Factor victory, Shayne Ward. The Coronation Street impact is real. No word yet on who Nicole will haveat her side but we presume it won't be Andrew Lloyd Webber.

Now you know all of that, all you need to do is get excited. This trailer might get you in the mood. It has us.