Yep, Louis Walsh is feeling pretty smug that X Factor ratings struggled without him last year
Mr Walsh rather enjoyed sitting at home watching X Factor's figures dip in his absence
Louis Walsh is making absolutely no bones about the fact that he really enjoyed watching X Factor's ratings drop without him on the show last year.
Is he smug? "Absolutely. Delighted!" he tells RadioTimes.com as he merrily returns to the panel, seemingly to show everyone how it's done.
Despite the to-the-point answer he's not really off message. The general vibe coming from camp XF is that last year was a bit of a blip – the opening episode drew 7.6 million overnight viewers and continued to struggle – and that it'll all be OK again this year.
Louis isn't bothered about being frank with Simon Cowell anyway, saying his 2am wind-up calls – during which he'd tell the boss everything he was doing wrong last series – were OK because Simon likes people to get to the point.
"Why not be honest about it? We're friends, he likes honesty. I just have to tell it like it is."
Louis says this year's line-up is his "dream", with Sharon Osbourne and Nicole Scherzinger also returning alongside Simon Cowell in one almighty 'throwback' year.
The long-running judge also dishes on what changed Mrs O's mind about singing shows and what his Ibiza-based Judges' Houses was like. Watch it all below...
The X Factor returns this Saturday and Sunday at 8:00pm on ITV