Vocalist Louis Tomlinson is going back to where it all began: British TV singing competition show The X Factor UK. However, this time, instead of being a contestant, he will be serving as a judge.
It was officially announced on July 17 that the former One Direction singer would be joining entertainment mogul Simon Cowell, singer Robbie Williams, and Robbie’s actress wife, Ayda Field Williams, on the judges’ panel for Season 15 of the popular show.
According to People, judge Sharon Osbourne will return to the series during the live episodes as an “impartial” fifth judge.
Auditions for the new season start filming today, July 18, in London, according to ApplauseStore, which provides audience tickets to tapings of the show.
Tomlinson first appeared on The X Factor UK back in 2010 when he auditioned as a solo singer. While he didn’t progress in the competition on his own, it was suggested that he team up with four other boys, Niall Horan, Zayn Malik, Liam Payne, and Harry Styles, to compete in the show’s “Groups” category, thus forming One Direction.
Although 1D only finished in third place that season, Cowell signed the quintet to his Syco Records and they went on to become one of the best-selling boy bands of all time.
One Direction has been on hiatus since 2016.
Later in the day, to bring his fans “up to speed,” Tomlinson posted a 73-second video update on Twitter letting them know what’s going on with his debut solo album.
“I want to thank everyone for their support so far,” the father of 2-year-old son Freddie Reign said in the clip.
“I just want everyone to not worry too much about the album. As I said today in the press conference, the album is still definitely my priority. [The X Factor UK] doesn’t change any release time or anything like that.”
Explaining that mentoring other singers has been on his mind “for a number of years now,” he said that he only made the decision “quite recently” to join the series.
“As soon as I got the assurance that [being on the show] wasn’t going to affect any of my music, actually it was going to help it, then I could start seriously thinking about it,” he said.
Back on March 26, the 26-year-old posted an adorable throwback photo of himself at his X Factor UK audition.
“8 years ago today,” contestant No. 155204 said on Instagram. “The skinny tie and shirt combo was a must back then.”
Tomlinson’s One Direction bandmate Horan was one of the first people to congratulate him on his new gig.
“Absolutely delighted for ya,” he posted on Twitter. “Huge news!!”
The X Factor UK will start airing on England’s ITV in August, reported People.
Meanwhile, American fans of the British series can watch it this fall on the AXS channel.