The next series of The X Factor will see a rule change which will allow acts who already have managers to audition, according to Gary Barlow.

The Take That frontman revealed the news during an interview on Radio 2, during which he also confirmed he was in talks to return to the judging panel this year.

Previous years have seen hopefuls barred from entering the show if they already have management deals. The 2011 series saw one act, The Mend, being dropped from the contest after they were found to have representation.

However Gary has now said that when auditions for the next series begin next week, it will be open to all those over the age of 16 who are keen to take part.

“They’re letting people apply that already have managers. They’re hoping for a more developed artist and a more developed group, if they have management,” he said.

Show bosses also confirmed that anyone would be allowed to audition “whether they are an amateur artist, have had a management deal in the past or have one now.”

“We want to find the best talent the country has to offer and we’re not stopping until we find a global superstar,” said Thames TV chief Richard Holloway.

“The change in rules means we won’t miss out on any talent that wish to enter.”

Auditions are due to begin on March 3, in cities including London, Manchester, Liverpool, Glasgow, Cardiff and Newcastle.