After six years away, Sharon Osbourne is back where she belongs on the judging panel of The X Factor, which begins its 10th series this Saturday and Sunday on ITV.

TV & Satellite Week caught up with her to find out more about her big comeback and what’s in store this series…

Why did you want to return?

“I wanted to come back because I left kind of abruptly and for me it just completes the cycle and it has ended nicely because I am only going to do this one series, so it brings proper closure for me.”

What has it been like working with the other judges?

“It is amazing. I love everybody on the panel. It is a lot more harmonious this time and we have a lot of respect for each other and it is just a joy to come in. Louis is a given anyway, but I just am overjoyed to be working with Gary and particularly Nicole, who I have known for a long time, so it has just been a pleasure.”

How has the talent changed since you were last a judge and how do you rate your chances of getting your first winning act?

“I have to tell you, and I know people say this every year, but the talent is like I have never seen it before, every category has such talented people in. It’s about time I won, isn’t it?! I would love to, it would mean a lot and what a way to go out.”

Have you had any spats this time?

“None with the judges, but a couple of auditionees have been pretty stroppy and come in with bad attitudes. A lot of people do come on for a dare or a bet and dares and they are wasting the time of people that really do have talent that want to be there. I think I am more patient, but more direct this time around.”

The first auditions see the acts performing just for the judges again this time, what are the advantages?

“I was really disappointed when they took that away from The X Factor a few years ago. I think that it is very intimate and more intimidating for the talent to come in and perform for three or four people than in front of thousands because you have just got eye contact with those judges and no one else and that tells a lot about who the artist is. I am so glad that they brought it back this year.”

What has been the worst act this time?

“Oh where do you want to begin, have you got an hour?! There have been some some absolute beauts. We had this one guy who was singing a Japanese rock song in Japanese, so he was quite special.”

If this is yours and Louis’ last series, could this be the end for The X Factor?

“I don’t think so, it is part of British culture now, so I think it will go on for a long time yet. I still think that the formula for the show is the best and it is great family entertainment. It is one of the few shows that on a Saturday you can sit down with the family and watch. You see these people that have got a dream and if they have likeability, you can’t help but get invested in them.”

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