Sharon Osbourne leads the return of the Golden Oldies on the X Factor

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The return of original judge Sharon Osbourne has grabbed the majority of the headlines ahead of the new series of the X Factor and the acid-tongued 60-year-old looks a good bet to be the winning judge at 4/1.

After mildly disappointing viewing figures last time round, ITV’s flagship entertainment show has undergone something of a revamp with the biggest change coming at the audition stage, where hopefuls will go back to auditioning in front of the panel only.

And it’s in this more intimate setting that Osbourne could thrive with her razor-sharp wit and array of one-liners likely to make her a favourite among television audiences who often relish the competition’s early stages.

From that point onwards, it’s luck of the draw when it comes to which category she receives but the Brixton-born media personality will take heart from the statistic that each of the last six winners have been mentored by a female judge.

However, Osbourne may not be the only golden oldie to enjoy renewed success in X Factor 2013.

Nine series ago, we were introduced to the cringe-worthy crooning of a certain Mr Steve Brookstein who swept to victory in the inaugural version of the show before promptly disappearing after his second album sold less than 4,000 copies.

Since then, the Over 25s category has been treated as something of a joke grouping, with the likes of Wagner, Johnny Robinson and Kitty Brucknell providing the light relief during the Saturday live shows.

But with change afoot in the X Factor format, could this be the year the ‘seniors’ return to credibility?

For several years the Groups category had failed to pique the interest of the public, before back-to-back years brought more polished fare like One Direction and the competition’s first winning girl band Little Mix.

Should Simon Cowell & Co decide to place a similar focus on the Over 25s then odds of 4/1 on this being the winning category could be Top of the Pops when it comes to X Factor punts.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Jack Beresford

Jack Beresford is a content writer with over five years of experience in writing about sport and betting, including a two-year spell with Axonn Media. Contributes articles to HereIsTheCity and Lad Bible, while previous credits include Bwin, FTB Pro, Bleacher Report and the QBE rugby. Avid follower of tennis, rugby union, motorsport and football, Jack also writes about poker for Cardspiel.com alongside Guardian journalist Dominic Wells.