In 2001 there was Popstars, which launched the careers of Hear’Say and Liberty X. In 2002 there was Popstars: The Rivals, which launched the careers of Girls Aloud and One True Voice. In between those two was season 1 of Pop Idol, which with Simon Cowell on the panel of judges, helped launch the careers of Will Young and Gareth Gates.

2003 saw the second season of Pop Idol, which saw the show won by Michelle McManus with second and third going to Mark Rhodes and Sam Nixon. It would be fair to say that something wasn’t quite working so Simon Cowell took matters in to his own hand and created the X Factor.

First launched in 2004, as a direct replacement to Pop Idol, the X Factor, with Simon Cowell very much at the helm, has gone on to become a behemoth of Television (not so much in the music world mind). But the real question is where did the name ‘X Factor’ come from.

The first couple of seasons of X Factor were hosted by Kate Thornton, the one time journalist turned Television presenter. She had been the presenter of Pop Idol which also had Simon Cowell as one of the judges. But that wasn’t where they first worked together.

Oh no! It was way back in 1999 when This Morning held a competition to create a new boy band. And to judge the competition they brought in both Kate Thornton and Simon Cowell. As a point of interest, Will Young auditioned and won a place in the band (as did Lee Ryan who later found fame in Blue) but the success was not to last, despite Simon Cowell saying: “We’ve tried to find people with star quality and these guys can sing and dance” the boyband soon disbanded.

Anyroads, here is some footage of the Will Young audition. Listen to what Kate Thornton says!

“It’s the indefinable X Factor”


Yep, that’s right. You just heard Kate Thornton (sitting beside Simon Cowell, years before he came up with the show the X Factor) making mention to the ‘indefinable X Factor’. A name that Simon Cowell must have kept in his head for years and is now laughing all the way to the bank because of it!