Well, well, well… Louis Walsh has been playing up to the cameras on The X Factor. Is nothing sacred? I mean, what with the likes of Wagner and Jedward on the show over the years, I thought this was serious. I really thought we were finding a young Celine Dion, Barbra Streisand, Bono, George Michael…

But no, Louis Walsh’s classic catchphrases are done on purpose. 

“I use the catchphrases as a joke - ‘you remind me of a young Lenny Henry or a young Michael Bublé’ - and all that type of stuff.”

At which point we’ll pause to consider why of all people he used Lenny Henry as an example… 

But it’s all for show. 

“I know what I’m doing and it usually makes the other people laugh on the show. So why not? People expect it.”

Who’da thunk it, eh? It seemed so off the cuff, so natural. But not to worry, he’s playing up to Simon Cowell, too. 

“When Simon’s around everyone is better. Everyone works harder. We always have to prove why we’re there,” Walsh says of the returning judge. 

“He demands more. He’s sitting there looking at everything. He takes everything in. He scans the room.”

But don’t think ol’Walshy is just there to make people laugh and impress Simon. He wants to win. 

“We’re going to be very competitive this year. Everybody wants to win the show. Simon thinks he’s going to win, Cheryl wants to win, Mel thinks ‘I’m going to show them what I’m made of’. I’ve been there 11 years, I know what to do. We’re all competitive and we all want to win. But I’m going to win.”

The X Factor returns Saturday 30 August at 8:00pm on ITV