DERMOT O’Leary has joked the X Factor: Celebrity is the “same s**t different year” as sacked judges admit they were lured back with “fat pay cheques”.
The ITV series returns this weekend with a host of famous faces showing off their vocal skills.
Head judge Simon Cowell will be joined by Nicole Scherzinger and Louis Walsh once again while Dermot, 46, returns as the host.
Speaking at the press launch ahead of Saturday’s first show, the trio were asked about the celebrities and whether their varying levels of popularity would play a factor in who would be the eventual winner.
Nicole, 41, said: “Talent, personality, story and authenticity always shines through.
“People aren’t stupid they gravitate towards what they feel they connect with.”
But when Louis, 67, added that “song choice is crucial”, Dermot couldn’t help but joke: “Same old s**t every year isn’t it?”
The trio were delighted to be back together for the Celebrity series, after Louis and Nicole were sacked following the 2017 edition.
When asked how hard it was for Simon to convince them to come back after a two-year break, Louis admitted it actually didn’t take much.
He said: “He’s sacked me two or three times. I love doing the show, I love working with Nicole.
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“I love working with Simon, and it’s like a whole new X Factor, it’s not like it was.”
Dermot then joked how Louis just “expects the call every couple of years” but he promptly reminded Dermot he too had once been axed from the show before making a triumphant return, saying: “Listen, you were gone too!”
But going back to his point about returning to the show, Louis added cheekily: “The show is great fun, and it pays!”
The X Factor: Celebrity begins on Saturday, October 12th at 8.35pm on ITV.
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