The X Factor is a British reality television music competition to find new singing talent. The contestants are aspiring singers drawn from public auditions. Created by Simon Cowell, the show began broadcasting on 4 September 2004 with 445 episodes broadcast over fifteen series as of 2 December 2018. The show is produced by Fremantle's Thames and Cowell's production company Syco Entertainment. It is broadcast on the ITV network in the UK and simulcast on Virgin Media One in Ireland. "X Factor" refers to the undefinable "something" that makes for star quality. The series consists of auditions, bootcamp, judges' houses, several weeks of live shows, semi-finals and the final. The first three series were presented by Kate Thornton. Since series four, with the exception of series twelve, the show has been presented by Dermot O'Leary. The X Factor previously had a spin-off behind-the-scenes show called The Xtra Factor, which aired directly after the main show on ITV2. This lasted for the first thirteen series, but was cancelled by ITV in January 2017. It was replaced by an online spin-off show Xtra Bites exclusively on the ITV Hub.