Louis Walsh: “I think I’m done with X Factor”

The long-standing judge reckons the show is looking for new faces and that he would have to “think about it” if he was asked back

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Amongst all the uncertainty in the world it’s nice to know that, when it comes to The X Factor at least, there are some things you can still rely on. Simon Cowell will wear a shirt unbuttoned to the navel, one judge will chuck a glass of water over another and Louis Walsh will tell us he’s leaving

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“I think I’m done with X Factor,” said Louis this week (for what must be at least the third time in recent years), explaining in an interview with TV3 that he thinks the show is looking to “change things” for the next series and that it could mean “new faces” on the judging panel.

He suggests, as expected, that both Cheryl Fernandez-Versini and Simon Cowell will return but says no-one has told him whether he’s in or out. 

But even if he was asked to come back, Louis says he’d “have to think about it”. 

“I want to get back to being a manager. I’ve kind of neglected that,” he said of his day job, which currently involves working with former Westlife star Shane Filan and Hometown, adding, “I never wanted to be on TV, it just happened.”

So perhaps, after 11 long years on the panel, Louis really is ready to call it a day. If so, I bargain he’ll be back soon enough for Judges’ Houses. That’s the best of both worlds, right? You get a glam holiday but can shrug off any further responsibility towards the acts chosen. 

It would certainly add to a growing number of updates to this year’s series. This week Simon Cowell told me new format changes are being put in place to make sure the show works around ITV’s coverage of the Rugby World Cup. In fact, for a month there’ll be no Saturday night shows, with “bumper Sundays” instead. 

And of course, there’s the recent tragic news that Dermot O’Leary has left as host and that Olly Murs is possibly being lined up to replace him

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A new judge or two on top of that really could add up to a revamped X Factor. Hopefully they’ll bring in someone who looks like a little Louis Walsh…