CONFIRMED: Wes Nelson, Brendan Cole and Ricki Lake for 'The X Factor: Celebrity'

Katie Archer
Contributor
(ITV/Syco/Thames)

The wait is finally over - The X Factor: Celebrity line-up has been confirmed, and it’ll feature a heady mix of Love Islanders, a former Strictly star, rugby players, and Martin Bashir.

With struggling ratings in the standard X Factor series, Simon Cowell announced that he was going to shake things up this year by doing a celebrity spin-off of the ITV contest and we’re not going to lie, this line-up will definitely have us tuning in.

Read more: Dannii Minogue reveals X Factor breaking point

Wes Nelson, Brendan Cole, Megan McKenna, Ricki Lake, and Kevin McHale have all signed up for Cowell’s harsh criticism of their vocal talents, some as solo artists and others in star super groups.

The competition will be split into three groups, each mentored by either Cowell or two of his favourite former judges, Louis Walsh and Nicole Scherzinger.

Celebrities have been divided into the Unders (the younger contestants), the Overs (veteran stars) and the Groups.

The Unders category will feature Towie’s Megan McKenna, David Hasselhoff’s model and actress daughter Hayley Hasselhoff, ex-EastEnder Jonny Labey, Glee star Kevin McHale, and Olivia Olson who is best known for her role in Love Actually.

In the Overs category, we’ll see journalist Martin Bashir who is famed for his Michael Jackson and Princess Diana documentaries, US talk show host Ricki Lake, The Chase’s Jenny Ryan better known as The Vixen, and former Coronation Street actress Victoria Ekanoye.

The Groups include some interesting combinations: The Islanders are Samira Mighty, Zara McDermott, Wes Nelson and Eyal Booker; Try Star is made up of rugby players Ben Foden, Thom Evans and Levi Davis; Cole and Edwards is a duo of ex-Strictly pro Brendan Cole and actor Jeremy Edwards; Max and Harvey are the social media stars and CBBC presenters; and V5 is a group of social media influencers called Sofia, Alondra, Laura, Wendii and Natalie.

A trailer for the show has been kicking around for a while which gave some strong hints as to many of the stars involved, but now producers have confirmed who will be taking to the mic this autumn.

One notable absence is former-footballer-turned-Hollywood-star Vinnie Jones, who had been heavily rumoured to be taking part.

Read more: Vinnie Jones returns to work after wife’s death

Jones tragically lost his wife Tanya to cancer earlier this year, but had been said to still be in talks about competing in the show.

However, with the Overs category one person short compared to the Unders and Groups, it’s unclear whether there has been a late drop out or if we might see a surprise contestant joining up during the series.

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