Published Tuesday, 17 April 2012
X Factor judge and Take That star Gary Barlow. (© Getty)
The Take That star - who is the first judge to be officially confirmed for the new series - said he was "thrilled" to be back on the panel.
He mentored the boys last year, taking Marcus Collins to the live final at Wembley Arena.
"I'm thrilled to be back and really looking forward to working with the X Factor team again," the singer, who is currently working on Golden Jubilee celebrations, said.
"The fact that a superstar could just walk out on that stage is very exciting."
Simon Cowell added: "Gary has earned his place and I'm excited to be working with him again."
ITV's Director of Television Peter Fincham also welcomed Gary back to the show.
"Gary quickly established himself as a key member of the X Factor judging panel, drawing on his years of experience in the music industry to help in the search for our undiscovered singing stars," he said.
"I'm thrilled to welcome him back to the biggest show on British television."
The X Factor's open auditions in six major cities have finished, but hopefuls can apply via Facebook until 8 May.
Budding singers aged 16 and above can enter whether they are an amateur artist, have had a management deal in the past, or have one now.
The other judges on the panel will be announced soon - it is expected that Tulisa Contostavlos, who mentored winning girl band Little Mix, will return too.
Louis Walsh has already said he will be taking part in the 2012 series which airs this summer.