Friday 24 November 2017

Louis Walsh’s X Factor future in doubt as show ratings plummet after nine years

Louis Walsh
Louis Walsh
Melanie Finn

Melanie Finn

X FACTOR judge Louis Walsh says his future is up in the air because doesn’t yet know if he will be spared the cull in a major revamp of the ailing show.

The curtain came down on the ninth series of the show last night with James Arthur (24) being crowned the winner – but producers are facing a crisis after viewers tuned out in their millions.

The X Factor has a one-year contract left with ITV, amid rumours that Simon Cowell will come back to Britain to rescue its popularity.

But it is unclear whether Louis is part of his plans.

Walsh, the longest-surviving judge on the programme, completed his ninth year at the weekend, but said he “hasn’t a clue” if he’ll make it 10 out of 10.

“I don't know what's going to happen next year. I would love another year, it would be my tenth year and I would be the only surviving judge but you never know what Simon is thinking. Nobody is safe,” he said.

The grand finale of the show took place in front of a live audience of 10,000 people in the Manchester Arena last night after producers moved it from its London base.

Louis said the atmosphere for the climax of the programme was amazing and insisted the show was holding its own in the ratings battles.

“It was a brilliant final and I'm very proud of the show,” he continued.

“We are pulling in 20 million viewers every weekend. We had amazing people on the final show like One Direction, Emeli Sande and Rihanna and we are the number one show in television.

“Everyone wants to beat us and that's the nature of the business but we can still hold our own.”

He also paid tribute to winner James, who was mentored by Nicole Scherzinger – and said it proves that the show is continuing to find massive stars.

“James is an amazing talent and it shows that we are still discovering amazing talent. He’s going to have a brilliant career and could easily sell records in America,” he explained.

And the music mogul also has high hopes for his boy band.

“I think Union J will be the new One Direction and Ella will easily get a deal as well, so we have had a great year,” he added.

He’s now looking forward to taking some well-needed time off after the gruelling show schedule. Louis will fly off to Miami after spending Christmas at home with his family in Mayo, before heading off to his bolt-hole in Florida for a sun holiday.

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