LOUIS Walsh's future on The X Factor still hangs in the balance as no contracts have been signed yet for his return to the show.
Cheryl Cole will make a triumphant comeback alongside former nemesis Simon Cowell after the pair buried the hatchet over a feud.
However, the Mayo music mogul has yet to hear whether he will also be picked to sit on the panel for the 11th year running.
He was seen out on the town with Cowell in London earlier this week as he enjoyed a buddies' night with the TV boss, who is also back on the show.
A publicist for the former Westlife boss said: "There's no news on the contracts, but they don't normally sign until April or May."
Cole put the boot into her former Girls Aloud manager this week by claiming that she wants a woman to take Walsh's place on the judging panel.
But although he vowed that last year would be his final stint on the hit show, Walsh has said he will be keeping an open mind and has not ruled anything out.
He said: "If Simon is back on the show then I would love to work with him. Of course I would. But as to a contract, nothing has been signed or even properly discussed.
"We only find out in April if we have the gig. There's a lot of rumour and speculation out there, but that's all it is."
Walsh is the only judge to have lasted for the show's full 10 years.
And his protege, Shane Filan, appears confident that he will be back on the talent competition this summer.
He accused Cole of "stirring up some controversy" with her claims that she did not want Walsh back.
"I think Louis will be on the panel. I'd be very surprised if he's not," he said.
"It's going to be a good line-up. It's good to have Cheryl back, she was great when she was on it and Simon's back too so that's going to create a huge amount of hype."