Louis Walsh has quit The X Factor after 13 years of being a judge on the talent show.
The Irish pop music mogul has finally decided to leave the show, just weeks after Simon Cowell revealed to The Sun that he was planning to sack him.
Walsh made the decision this afternoon, releasing a statement which said:
I’ve had a fantastic 13 years on The X Factor but the show needs a change and I’m ready to leave.
I’m looking forward to another series of Ireland’s Got Talent, going back to my day job as a manager, writing my memoirs and seeing the world!
Walsh has appeared on every series of The X Factor except one, since the show began in 2004.
Amelia Brown, Thames Managing Director, said:
Louis has been a huge part of The X Factor’s success since it launched and remains a good friend of the show.
His contribution cannot be overstated. We would like to thank him for all he has given to the show over the years and look forward to continuing to work with him in the future.
The press release announcing Walsh’s resignation from the show stated the departure marks ‘the beginning of a new era for the UK’s most popular music talent show’.
The show’s producers have also revealed other changes to the programme, confirming that Sharon Osbourne, who has been a judge on seven series, will only serve as judge for the live shows, and will not appear at the audition stages.
I can’t wait to get back to the judges’ desk, I love the new format.
Thames boss Amelia Brown added:
We are very excited Sharon is taking on a new role on the show and we can’t wait to see her as a judge on the live episodes.
This is the start of a new era for The X Factor. I am really excited about all the ideas we have for the coming series including, of course, the new judging panel.
According to the Huffington Post, three new judges will be joining Simon Cowell on the panel, which also suggests that Nicole Scherzinger will not be returning to the show, however that is as of yet unconfirmed.
Open auditions for the 2018 series have already taken place, with a reported 30,000 people applying to take part. The first filmed auditions will take place at Wembley Arena in the next few weeks.
As The Sun recently reported, an ‘X Factor insider’ said that Simon Cowell and the producers have lost faith in both Walsh and Osbourne, especially since Walsh is now advertising hearing aids, which is not a good look for someone supposed to judge how well people can sing.
The source said:
Louis and Simon remain great friends and it’s not a simple decision to let him go. But serious eyebrows were raised when Louis went public with his hearing loss in a Specsavers campaign about hearing aids.
It obviously raises the question about whether he’s a suitable judge for a show that aims to find young pop stars.
Whatever the reason for his departure, the show sure won’t be the same without Louis.
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Charlie Cocksedge is a journalist at UNILAD. He graduated from the University of Manchester with an MA in Creative Writing, where he learnt how to write in the third person, before getting his NCTJ. His work has also appeared in such places as The Guardian, PN Review and the bin.