Simon Cowell had Louis Walsh on X Factor standby

The boss admits he “wasn’t sure” about this year’s new panel and jokes Walsh would have had "bags packed" for a return

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Simon Cowell has surprised himself on this year’s X Factor, by not feeling the need to ditch one of the new judges and call long-standing judge Louis Walsh back in.   

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“I wasn’t sure,” Cowell admitted to The Sun of the new judging panel, which has seen Radio 1 DJ Nick Grimshaw and singer Rita Ora line-up alongside himself and Cheryl Fernandez-Versini.

“Normally whenever we have anyone new in I’m on the phone to Louis within three hours to replace them,” Cowell joked. Indeed, in 2007 choreographer Brian Friedman had barely got his feet under the desk before Walsh was drafted back in.

“I’m sure he had his bags packed at the front door,” Cowell added.

I for one hope Mr Walsh has kept them packed; an appearance at Judges’ Houses has got to happen, right? He’ll turn up, shades on, still adamant he has this year’s winner. He can sit alongside Sinitta, rock a surprising outfit.

Cowell seems pleased as punch with this year’s line-up however. Of Ms Ora, Cowell says he likes her ability to laugh at herself for being a “bit of a ditz”.  

“It’s part of her personality. What I like about her is that she’s not afraid to admit that. She doesn’t say anything and then scream at the producers to edit it out. She can poke fun at herself,” Cowell explained.

And of Grimshaw – who I personally think is a breath of fresh air on the panel – Cowell teased: “He’s like a really friendly dog, really friendly. He always wants to be stroked and happy.”

The X Factor returns to ITV soon

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