LOUIS Walsh has revealed that TV chiefs were not keen to recruit him to the new series of The X Factor and would rather have freshened up the popular talent show with a new judge.
The 62-year-old, who's been the talent show's stalwart for the past 10 years, is returning for the final time for the new series, which hits our screens next Saturday.
However the Mayo native admitted he was "on borrowed time" and only made it back on the panel because his loyal friend Simon Cowell, who's returning as chief judge for the first time since 2010, insisted on his inclusion.
The former Westlife and Boyzone manager said: "Simon wanted me back this year. I don't think ITV did.
"But Simon and I work well together and he knows that I love my job and I love music. I'm on borrowed time and I realise that," he commented.
In an interview with The TV Times, media mogul Cowell said he's looking forward to working alongside Walsh again in a panel that also includes the return of newlywed Cheryl Cole (now Cheryl Fernandez) and outspoken former Spice Girl Mel B.
"Louis brings madness to the show. I've known him for about 15 years, he's nutcase, and he has a very different view of the world than I do.
"But that's what I find interesting about Louis. He's an optimist, whereas I can be a bit cynical," said the 54-year-old.
The bromance appears as strong as either with Louis full of praise for the dad-of-one also.
"Honestly Simon just makes me laugh. But it's not as if we sit around laughing all day.
"When I used to work with him with Westlife he would always say you can do better," he told TV3.
And Walsh who is known for his infamous catchphrases on the show said he never takes his role too seriously.
"I use the catchphrases as a joke, 'you remind me of a young Lenny Henry or a young Michael Bublé,' all that kind of stuff.
"But I know what I'm doing and it usually makes the other people laugh on the show. So why not? People expect it," he said.