The X Factor live shows kick off 'without Simon Cowell'

Simon Cowell - NBCUniversal
Simon Cowell - NBCUniversal

The first live show of the current series of The X Factor will kick off tonight - but boss Simon Cowell might not be there to oversee proceedings.

The judge was reportedly rushed to hospital on Friday after falling down the stairs in his London home, but was photographed flashing a thumbs up when he returned hours later.

It is expected he will miss the show on Saturday, according to The Sun, but should be back in his seat on Sunday.

He told the paper on Friday: "I'm feeling OK. I fainted.

"I will be back but I don't know about tomorrow."

His predicted absence for the first live show means it is likely his category of the groups will no longer perform on Saturday as planned.

Most successful X Factor judges
Most successful X Factor judges

Instead Louis Walsh's boys will perform alongside Sharon Osbourne's girls, according to the paper.

The first live instalment of the singing competition will see the hopefuls tackle the theme of 'Express Yourself'.

Grace Davies will perform original number Too Young, while Rai-Elle Williams will sing a mash-up of Doo Wop (That Thing) by Lauryn Hill and Lost Ones / No by Meghan Trainor and Holly Tandy will sing Hollow by Tori Kelly.

Walsh's boys will hope to impress the judges as Lloyd Macey sings City of Stars from La La Land, while Spencer Sutherland will try Who You Are by Jessie J and Sam Black will attempt Faith by Stevie Wonder ft. Ariana Grande.

On Sunday, group Rak-Su will sing original track Mamacita, while Sean and Connor Price will perform Strong by London Grammar and The Cutkelvins will sing Pink's What About Us.

In Nicole Scherzinger's overs category, Kevin Davy White will perform Stay by Rihanna ft. Mikky Ekko, Matt Linnen will sing Scars to Your Beautiful by Alessia Cara and Tracyleanne Jefford will tackle Written in the Water by Gin Wigmore.

Over the weekend each judge will also reveal their wildcard contestants from the hopefuls who failed to be chosen at the judges' houses.

It has been reported that Leon Mallet, Alisah Bonaobra, Jack and Joel and Talia Dean will all return for the live shows.

The X Factor is on ITV at 8.20pm on Saturday and 7pm on Sunday.