Simon Cowell: We’ll make Louis Walsh judge of the week on X Factor

X Factor boss jokes the former judge can return for ‘stool week’ or in the crowd with “restricted viewing”

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This year may be devoid of long-standing judge Louis Walsh, but Simon Cowell has an idea for bringing him back for at least one show: by introducing judge of the week.

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“We’ll do like Boyzone week or something,” Cowell joked, suggesting we might actually get the elusive ‘fifth judge’ and they’ll dust off a chair from the back and squeeze him onto the end of the judges’ table.

New judge Nick Grimshaw had a better idea for a theme for Walsh’s big return: “Stool week. We’ll have everyone sitting on stools!” Walsh had a lot of love for stools after all. And key changes. “Key change week!” Grimmers laughed.

But jokes aside (sort of) the judges think Walsh will actually be happy at home.

“He came into the dressing room me and Rita had on a shoot and he was the happiest he’s ever been,” Grimshaw revealed, referring to fellow new addition pop star Rita Ora. “He was like, “You two don’t know what you’ve got yourselves into. He was really happy.”

“He’s happier about it actually, I think, not being on the show,” returning judge Cheryl Fernandez-Versini concurred.

“The good thing for Louis is he’s going to be able to go to bed a bit earlier. He can watch the show in bed in his pjs and he can call me after the show,” Cowell teased. “We’ve got him a couple of seats for the live shows, restricted viewing but we’re looking after him.”

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The X Factor returns tonight at 8:00pm on ITV