X Factor: Louis Walsh 'signs nearly £1 million deal on condition auditions return to Ireland'

Published Thursday, May 12 2016, 08:21 BST  |  By  |  Add comment
Another day, another X Factor rumour… this time, that former judge Louis Walsh has agreed to return on the condition auditions can be held in Ireland.

It's long been rumoured that original judge Louis would return to the fold this year, following the departure of three of last year's judges: Nick Grimshaw, Cheryl and Rita Ora.

Music Industry Trusts Award in aid of Nordoff Robbins and the BRIT Trust held at the Grosvenor House.
Louis Walsh
2 Nov 2015

© WENN / Daniel Deme

Now, a source has told The Mirror that Louis, 63, signed his contract yesterday – but only after making bosses promise auditions could be held in his Dublin hometown.

An insider said: "Simon [Cowell] knows he had to make amends for dropping him last series, so it was the least he could do. Now, Louis is back on board, for almost £1 million."

It comes as little surprise as Louis' been pretty vocal about being in talks with Simon about a return. He told Ireland's Late Late Show in April: "I might be [back] and I should be and I probably will be but I actually haven't signed my contract yet. I'm going to when I get it but I haven't got it yet."

Louis Walsh and Simon Cowell outside the Arts Club - 15 February 2013.

© Craig Harris/WENN.com

Louis with Simon.

Louis left the show last year after 11 years on the judging panel, and wasn't shy about speaking out on what he felt went wrong with last year's 12th series.

He told Reveal last year: "When the first show went out I rang Simon and said, 'You've really f*cked it up – too many changes'. I did a whole rant. He didn't like me saying that, but then he totally agreed with me the following night. He said, 'You're right and I'm glad you told me'."

It's also been rumoured that former judges Nicole Scherzinger and Sharon Osbourne are in talks to join Simon and Louis on this year's judging panel, while Mel B has been named as another possibility, although, as always, X Factor bosses are keeping tight-lipped until an official announcement is made.