The X Factor is to add an extra audition date on Thursday, it’s been claimed. The try-outs had been scheduled to start on Monday, but they were put on hold following the death of judge Simon Cowell’s 89-year-old mother Julie Brett on Sunday. Initially it wasn’t known when they would be rescheduled, but it’s now been confirmed that Simon will be able to return after a brief break. ‘We will now start auditions in Manchester on Wednesday and Thursday this week,’ a spokesperson for Syco Entertainment said. Simon will be joined by his new-look judging panel, made up of Cheryl Fernandez-Versini, Rita Ora and Nick Grimshaw, and it’s thought an extra audition session will be held on Thursday. Julie had reportedly been ill since the autumn, with her family releasing a statement saying she is now at peace. ‘Simon needs time to get over the death of Julie, it is a huge loss for him and his family.

‘But at the same time, he knows how many people are involved in the X Factor and doesn’t like to let people down,’ an insider told British newspaper The Mirror.

‘Julie was a big fan of the show, so it feels right to take some time out and then come back and work on the show later in the week.’ A number of people have paid tribute to Julie online, as well as lending their support to Simon as he deals with his grief . Among them were One Direction star Niall Horan, who appeared on the 2010 edition of The X Factor.

‘Very sad to hear of the passing of Julie , very nice lady! Condolences are with Simon and his family at this time,’ he wrote on Twitter. Olly Murs also found fame thanks to the show and will be returning to present it this year following the departure of Dermot O’Leary. ‘My heart goes out to Simon Cowell and his family,’ he wrote on Twitter.