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Offstage: Inside The X Factor

10:30 AM GMT on January 28, 2024

Offstage: Inside The X Factor - Whilst The X Factor has not been on British screens for nearly five years, the reality show has remained in public consciousness, with memes and famous auditions still making the rounds on social media. So what was the experience really like for the contestants who appeared on it and how did it transform their life? 

Chi Chi Izundu has spent a lot of time reaching out to contestants for interviews, and this new Radio 4 series features their stories.

It reveals the judging process (such as that there are two audition rounds before anyone performs in front of Cowell) and that production staff had to pitch the contestants they believed should be in the show to execs (“it was a nasty environment,” one insider says. It also unpacks that whilst some contestants found their experiences humiliating and exploitative, others found their time in the show helpful to where they have ended up now. And it reminds you just how popular X Factor was, with 17 million watching the show at its height. 

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