X Factor judge Gary Barlow has admitted he has handed over his head judge crown (and mug) to Sharon Osbourne.

The Take That star, who was drafted in to replace Simon Cowell in 2010, immediately became head judge when he took his seat on The X Factor panel.

However, speaking backstage at this year’s X Factor auditions at Wembley Arena in London, Gary told The Sun newspaper: “There’s no question she’s the head judge. The mug – I can’t even find it. It’s gone. She has been in and stood on it. She’s the queen. She’s back.”

He added: “It’s been brilliant having her back. It’s so good to have someone who has done so much TV work because she is totally at ease and she has brought out the worst in all of us!”

Gary also admitted that he was apprehensive about Mrs O returning to the show.

He said: The one thing I was dreading, though, was Sharon coming back and just stealing the whole thing – but that’s not her style at all. She’s come back and, like I said, she’s brought out the worst in everyone, which everyone is loving. And so going on to the set each day, it was just like I can’t wait to get up there and have a laugh.”