X Factor finals to kick off with Olympics theme

The X Factor will reportedly kick off its live finals on Saturday with an Olympic-themed show following months of speculation that Simon Cowell would pay tribute to Team GB during the series.

According to The Sun a number of Team GB medal-winners will appear on stage, with Laura Trott, Lizzie Armitstead, boxers Luke Campbell and Nicola Adams and taekwondo champ Jade Jones among those tipped to take part.

And the finalists will also sing a string of Olympic ‘themed’ songs including Spandau Ballet’s Gold and Tina Turner’s Simply The Best.

The reports follow rumours earlier in the summer that Simon Cowell was planning an Olympics themed special and had signed up the likes of Mo Farah, Jessica Ennis, Chris Hoy and Bradley Wiggins to take part – but their involvement was later denied.

The show is seen as The X Factor’s latest attempt to win viewers away from Strictly Come Dancing, which features Olympians Louis Smith and Victoria Pendleton.

“Simon promised an Olympic night and he’s delivered,” a source told the paper. “The Heroes’ show is all about celebrating the Olympics and the British summer of sport.

“It’s a feelgood show and we hope people will get a buzz from it.”

The move comes as Strictly and The X Factor both go live for the first time this series, with the Saturday night ratings war set to kick off – although there will be no overlap of the shows this Saturday.

Strictly began the first part of its weekend double bill on Friday night, with Victoria Pendleton making her dancefloor debut with dance partner Brendan Cole – although she finished bottom of the judges’ scoreboard with a disappointing 16 points after making a mistake during her routine.

Gymnast Louis Smith will perform for the first time with partner Flavia Cacace on Saturday’s show.

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