X Factor double bills until Christmas

ITV1 are to screen double episodes of 'The X Factor' from next week until Christmas in a bid to boost the network's ratings

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Louis Walsh, Tulisa Contostavlos, Kelly Rowland and Gary Barlow

The X Factor judging panel

ITV1 are to screen double episodes of 'The X Factor' from next week until Christmas.

The network is keen to boost its ratings and know the talent show will be a sure-fire hit so have decided to air it on both Saturday and Sunday nights from September 10 until the series finale in December.

The double 'X Factor' shows will be launched on the same weekend as rival BBC One series 'Strictly Come Dancing' debuts, and the following weekend will air the final auditions.

On the weekend of September 24 and 25, there will be a double episode at Boot Camp and then on October 1 and 2 there will be two programmes for the Judges' Houses stage of the competition, in which the 16 finalists are chosen.

The first live show is on Saturday October 8 and the first eviction is the following day.

When the latest series of 'The X Factor' was launched last month, it attracted 12.6 million viewers.

With new judges Gary Barlow, Tulisa Contostavlos and Kelly Rowland joining Louis Walsh on the panel, the talent show smashed all previous records for the highest-ever ratings for an opening episode.

TV bosses are now confident the series won't be damaged by the departure of former judges Simon Cowell, Cheryl Cole and Dannii Minogue, and have hailed the new panel as a "resounding success".

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