Louis Walsh confirms he is to return to X Factor for the ninth year
LOUIS Walsh is like the cat with nine lives having confirmed he will return this summer for his ninth series of The X Factor.
Walsh, the longest-serving judge on the show, said he was "delighted" to be returning in his capacity as the only original X Factor judge still involved.
Fellow judge and Take That member Gary Barlow tweeted Walsh his congratulations this morning, but said he woulnd't let Walsh take the top spot on the panel.
The Take That star tweeted: ‘ I hear there's a lovely lad from Ireland joining me on #XFactor.Congrats Louis! One of these years you'll be head judge :)’
ITV’s Director of Television, Peter Fincham, said: "Louis is, quite simply, an X Factor institution. It's great to have him back for this year’s run."
The next round of X Factor auditions begin touring the country this spring, but a question mark still hangs over two of the chairs on the judging panel after Kelly Rowland yesterday that she will not return for another series.
It is likely that last year's judge Tulisa Contostavlos will return. Other names who have been mentioned for the role include Dannii Minogue and Lily Allen.