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This lasted from series 1 until series 13, when it was cancelled by ITV in January 2017.
It is replaced by an online spin-off show Xtra Bites exclusively on the ITV Hub.
The original judging panel consisted of Louis Walsh, Sharon Osbourne and Cowell.
In 2005, Paula Abdul joined the show as a guest judge whilst Osbourne was away then joined the panel in 2006 for three sets of auditions.
The show is split into different stages, following the contestants from auditions through to the final.Successful auditionees go through to "bootcamp" and then to "judges' houses", where judges narrow down the acts in their category down to three or four acts to mentor for the live shows, where the public vote for their favourite acts following weekly live performances by the contestants.There have been 14 winners of the show to date: Steve Brookstein, Shayne Ward, Leona Lewis, Leon Jackson, Alexandra Burke, Joe Mc Elderry, Matt Cardle, Little Mix, James Arthur, Sam Bailey, Ben Haenow, Louisa Johnson, Matt Terry and Rak-Su.Winners receive a recording contract with record label Syco Music with a stated value of £1 million.This includes a cash payment to the winner, but the majority is allocated to marketing and recording costs.
It is broadcast on the ITV network in the UK and simulcast on TV3 in Ireland.