Cheryl Cole has warned X Factor contestants they will need to do something special to impress the judges this year.

The Fight For This Love singer is returning to the judging panel of the ITV talent show, along with Simon Cowell, after a three-year break, and told The Sun she is looking out for auditions that are different.

Cheryl said: "If you do something original or a good remix that makes people sit up and listen, that's always a good start.

"Do some research. Find unique ways of singing songs we're aware of."

Simon Cowell has announced that in 2014 The X Factor will literally be scouring the country for talent - with auditions in almost 50 towns and cities.

This year the audition tour will visit nine major cities - five more than last year - including Aberdeen, Newport, Plymouth, Coventry and Hull. And auditions will be held in 34 towns, up from 22.

Simon said: "This year we're visiting more towns and cities than ever across the UK to find the next pop star ready to take on the world.

"So if you're thinking about auditioning, just do it."