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X Factor ratings rise as Simon Cowell returns to the show

The programme's 11th series kicked off last night (August 30)

X Factor ratings rise as Simon Cowell returns to the show

Photo: Dean Chalkley

Ratings for the first episode in the new series of X Factor have risen from its previous two series.

The programme returned to ITV1 last night (August 30) with creator Simon Cowell back on the judging panel for the first time since 2010.

Viewing figures for the episode where the highest they've been for two years, according to The Hollywood Reporter, with overnight ratings hitting an average of 9.5 million viewers and peaking at 10.6 million. 2013's opening episode saw reach 9.2 million viewers while 2012's premiere only hit 8.7 million - the show's lowest figure since 2006.

Cowell left the UK version of the programme to steer X Factor US, with Gary Barlow taking his place at the head of the judging panel. But American network Fox cancelled the programme stateside earlier this year, prompting Cowell to return.

The 11th series of X Factor sees Cowell joined on the judging panel by the returning Cheryl Cole, along with Spice Girl Mel B and Louis Walsh. Previous winners of the X Factor include Little Mix, Matt Cardle and Leona Lewis.

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