The X Factor’s auditions are set for an overhaul which will see hopefuls return to the old format of performing only for the judges.

Since the 2009 series auditions have taken place in front of crowds at a series of large venues across the UK.

However The Sun reports that this year’s series will go ‘back to basics’ – with auditionees having to face the judges in a small room and sing acapella without instruments.

The successful candidates will then have to face a second audition in front of a live crowd in order to progress to the boot camp stage.

“We can confirm the audition rooms will be returning to the X Factor as one of a number of exciting changes,” a spokesman for the show told The Sun.

Meanwhile a source told The Mirror the aim was to try and alter the dynamic of the show, which lost around 2m viewers in 2012.

“Some of the best moments ever on the show happened in those intimate auditions in front of the judges so we want to bring that back,” the insider said. “Bigger isn’t always better and we hope to get more interaction with the judges and more poignant moments this way.

“There is also less pressure on singers in their first audition which could bring out the best and some new singers who were scared of auditioning in arenas.”

We are getting the best of both worlds and singers can take confidence from their first audition when they go out on stage in front of the crowd.”

Other changes are expected to be announced in the coming weeks, with increased speculation that Sharon Osbourne could return to the judging panel.

Series regular Louis Walsh will be back on the panel, with Gary Barlow and Nicole Scherzinger tipped to return, although nothing has been confirmed.

And Simon Cowell is reportedly set to return in some form, possibly via satellite link-up from Los Angeles during the live finals.

The Sun has reported that the series may also be screened slightly later in the year, possibly starting in September instead of August.