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X Factor 2014: Cheryl Cole and Mel B dress to impress at first auditions

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The X Factor is back – and with a new judging panel, it promises to be better than ever. On Monday, Mel B, Cheryl Cole, Simon Cowell and Louis Walsh arrived in Manchester for the very first auditions of 2014. It was former Spice Girl Mel’s first appearance as a permanent judge on the show, and she didn’t disappoint. The 39-year-old hit the red carpet at the Emirates Old Trafford in a show-stopping black body top with a large stud-embellished wrap skirt.

© Photo: Rex

Mel spent time chatting with excited fans, many of who congratulated the singer on her signing; she had her first taste of life on The X Factor when she appeared as a guest judge two years ago. Generating just as much excitement was returning judge Cheryl Cole. A huge buzz went up as the Girls Aloud star arrived at the stadium to resume her position on the panel. Cheryl, 30, looked flawless in a sheer panelled T-shirt with a short, flirty pleated scuba skirt. She teamed her outfit with bold blue heels and a huge smile, and wore her ombre hair loose around her shoulders.

© Photo: Rex

Just this weekend, Simon admitted that all eyes would be on Cheryl, who initially left the UK version of the show for the American version only to be sacked from the job in a matter of weeks. “

Of course the pressure is going to be on Cheryl this year, coming back after a break,” the music mogul told the Sunday People. “

All eyes are going to be on her, but she is ready for it. She’s going to be great. “We’re both looking forward to sitting together on the panel again.”

© Photo: Rex

Another lovely lady stepping into the spotlight on Monday was Sarah-Jane Crawford. Last week it was confirmed that the 29-year-old presenter was taking over hosting duties on The Xtra Factor from Caroline Flack, and she already looked at ease in her new role as she chatted with reporters on the first day of X Factor auditions.

simon cowell© Photo: Rex