Fox also sets hosts for show

Nicole Scherzinger and Steve Jones have been tapped to serve as hosts of Fox’s “The X Factor,” the network announced Saturday.

Scherzinger, a singer who served as a guest judge on the British version of “Factor,” had been long expected to be a part of the program, but Jones, a British model with extensive experience hosting programs in the U.K., was something of a surprise. His name emerged only after another would-be host, “High School Musical” star Corbin Bleu, was passed over for the job.

“These two are going to be great together,” said Simon Cowell, exec producer and a judge on “Factor.”

Separately, Fox confirmed that Paula Abdul will reunite with fellow former “American Idol” judge Cowell as an “X Factor” judge. She rounds out the four-member panel that also includes Antonio “LA” Reid and Cheryl Cole. “X Factor” is already on the auditions trail, with its next stop set for May 26 in Dallas.

With two hosts in place, “Factor” will launch with a format similar to “Idol,” which began with Ryan Seacrest and Ryan Dunkleman as hosts. Dunkleman was dumped before the second season began.

Auditions will continue in Dallas on May 26; the series launches in the fall at a date to be determined.

“Factor” is produced by Syco Television and FremantleMedia North America.

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