Former reality show judge will be back alongside Gary Barlow, Nicole Scherzinger and Louis Walsh

Sharon Osbourne will return as a judge on The X Factor for the 2013 series, it has been confirmed.

It has been long rumoured that Osbourne would come back to the programme she worked on between 2004-2007 with speculation increasing this week with the confirmation that Tulisa, who was an X Factor judge for two series between 2011-2012, will not be returning for the next series, due to begin filming soon. Releasing a statement about her return, Osbourne says: “I can’t wait to give Gary Barlow a big hug, sit next to the gorgeous Nicole and of course throw water on dear Louis. Yay!”

Tulisa previously confirmed her exit from The X Factor via her official Twitter account. She wrote: “Just wanted to let you all know that I won’t be part of The X Factor panel this year. I’ve had a great time on the show, but this year it’s time to do something different. I’d like to thank everyone on The X Factor for two amazing years.”

Meanwhile, over on the US version of the show, it was confirmed yesterday (May 21) that Simon Cowell has hired former Destiny’s Child singer Kelly Rowland and Mexican singer and actress Paulina Rubio as judges. They replace Britney Spears and record producer Antonio ‘LA’ Reid and will join Cowell on the panel along with pop singer Demi Lovato.