Gary Barlow ‘took X Factor tips from Cowell’

X Factor newcomer Gary Barlow has revealed he took advice from Simon Cowell before stepping into his shoes on the judging panel.

The singer admitted it was “a little strange” joining the show, which returns to ITV1 on Saturday night.

“I spent a little bit of time with Simon warning me what it’s going to be like and how to be,” Gary said, “and he said what everyone said to me, ‘just be yourself’.

“It’s been tough, it really has. I think the hardest thing is learning to be really you on camera.”

Meanwhile fellow judge Tulisa Contostavlos said appearing on the show was her “dream job”.

Speaking on the show’s official website the N-Dubz singer said, “I think it was about three years ago now, I was sitting at home watching The X Factor at Christmas and I think I turned around to my dad and said, ‘I could do that’.

“I said ‘that is actually my dream job’ and then all of a sudden three years later I got the call and here I am now, a judge on X Factor.”

Viewers will get their first taste of the new panel when the series kicks off on Saturday night at 8pm.