'X Factor' panel set for a £6m spend

'X Factor' panel set for a £6m spend

The 'X Factor' panel will be paid a total of almost £6m this year.

Head judge Gary Barlow's salary stays at £1.5m, while Nicole Scherzinger - who joined the programme at the Boot Camp stage last year - has had her £750,000 fee from the last series doubled to match the Take That frontman's.

Returning judge Sharon Osbourne - who is replacing Tulisa - has agreed a deal to come back after six years in return for £1.5m plus £300,000 expenses including first class flights to and from America, and a suite at London's five-star Dorchester Hotel during filming.

Louis Walsh - the longest-serving panellist - will take home £1m, bringing the panel total to £5.8m, up from last year's wage bill of £3.7m.

A source told The Sun newspaper: "We're really confident about this panel and we're putting our money where our mouth is.

"Nicole deserved a pay rise after coming first and second last year. Also she'll be there for the audition shows this year so we're getting more bang for our buck."

The judges will have to work harder for their money though, as an extra stage of auditions has been introduced for contestants.

They must first face the panel in an intimate audition room - the way they used to in early series of the show - and if they impress, they will then perform to a live arena audience, before progressing to the Boot Camp round.

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