Louis Walsh facing the chop from X Factor as Simon set to return in dramatic shake-up
LOUIS Walsh's days as an X Factor judge could be numbered, according to a report in today's Sun newspaper.
The current series of the show has seen a huge 2.5m drop in audience figures and ITV bosses are said to want a dramatic shake-up which would see Simon Cowell return and Louis axed.
A source close to the programme told The Sun, "It doesn't take a genius to work out that Simon not being on has hit the ratings.
"ITV are happy with the panel. They think they're great. But they realise when it comes to X Factor judges, there isn't anyone like Simon. He is X Factor.
"The likelihood is that Louis will be gone next year - and Simon could make a welcome return."
The speculation comes after a controversial weekend for the Mayo man which saw him being criticised for spending too much time in Ireland by fellow judge Gary Barlow, who said "I think I have seen him once at the house with the contestants. He is in Dublin all week. He doesn't really care."
Louis, 59, also lost one of his acts, Sami, who last night criticised his choice of songs for her each week.
He was also forced into a humiliating climbdown after accusing contestant Misha of bullying one of his acts.
"I'm sorry for using the b word," he said on air last night, referring to the accusation he made on the Saturday night's show.