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Spice Girl Mel B Joins 'X Factor' in U.K. as Judge

LONDON -- Former Spice Girls band member Melanie B, a.k.a. Scary Spice, has joined the judging panel of "The X Factor" in the U.K., which airs on ITV.

Mel B, who appeared as a guest judge on the show in 2012, joins fellow judges music manager Louis Walsh, Simon Cowell and singer Cheryl Cole. Dermot O'Leary hosts the show.

Cowell, "The X Factor" creator, said: "I am thrilled that Mel B has agreed to be a judge on 'The X Factor' this year. I thought she was fantastic as a guest judge a couple of years ago. She is feisty, opinionated and, I believe, will be a great mentor."

Elaine Bedell, ITV's director of comedy and entertainment, said, "Mel and Cheryl have reached the top in two of the biggest girl bands in contemporary music history, and they're fantastic additions to this year's panel, alongside Simon and Louis."

Richard Holloway, acting CEO of FremantleMedia U.K., which produces the show, said: "Mel B is feisty and fiery and I'm sure that she'll keep all of the contestants and her fellow judges in check, as well as finding some great talent."

Filming for the new series begins next week with an audition tour taking place in four cities across the U.K. -- Manchester, London, Newcastle and Edinburgh.

"The X Factor" is one of the biggest brands in the world and individual versions of the show air in 45 countries.

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