Cheryl Cole’s UK X Factor replacement stepped out for the first set of auditions.

Former Destiny’s child singer, Kelly Rowland arrived at the Hotel Du Vin in Birmingham yesterday, along with, Gary Barlow and Tulisa Contostavlos, who replace Simon Cowell and Dannii Minogue respectively.

Louis Walsh is the only remaining judge from the original X Factor panel.

Arriving at X Factor auditions, they were bombarded with questions Cheryl and the recent drama in the US.

Gary Barlow said: “I’ve spoken to her and I think she has turned a corner now. I would say she is going places.

“I’m sad that she’s gone, but do you know what, she will move on to something else.”

He added: “I know Cheryl quite well and she is an ambitious girl, she’s very together and she’ll get over this no question.”

Cheryl’s former fellow X Factor judge, Louis Walsh revealed that the Geordie beauty had texted him to “wish him well” on the show and he added: “Cheryl’s great, she’s a great girl – we’re on really good terms.

“There is no bitterness – not with me anyway!”

Unsurprisingly, Contostavlos, who replaced Cheryl on the panel, was less happy to talk about the Promise This star, saying: “The Cheryl thing is a mystery to me.”

Meanwhile, Barlow has admitted he thinks it’s time X Factor supremo Simon Cowell “moved over” and made way for the “new generation” of judges as he feels the music mogul has spent too much time at the top.

The Take That singer,  explained he hasn’t been seeking advice from the 51-year-old music mogul who quit the series earlier this year to concentrate on the Stateside X Factor launch.

Barlow, 40, said: “I haven’t spoken to Simon and I haven’t taken any advice from him. I will do things my own way. It’s time for a new generation.

“Anyway, Simon’s had so many years, it’s time he moved over!”

This year, X Factor officials have ruled out auditions in Ireland this year.

The decision has been taken despite one of last year’s most successful acts, Mary Byrne, having come through the auditions at Dublin’s Convention Centre last June.

This year’s public shows will have an extra UK date in Liverpool, and Irish X Factor hopefuls will be expected to make their way across the channel to perform for the judges.

No reason has been given for the decision, although some reports have indicated that the show’s creator Simon Cowell was unimpressed with the quality of contestants at last year’s Irish heats