Louis Walsh is reportedly set to earn nearly a million pounds to return to The X Factor.
The 63-year-old acted as a judge on the panel of the ITV show from 2004 to 2014, when he was apparently dropped from the programme by boss Simon Cowell.
But following the departure of last year’s (15) judges, Rita Ora, Cheryl Fernandez-Versini and Nick Grimshaw from the panel, Simon is said to have courted Louis for a comeback on the panel.
According to reports, Louis has signed a contract for “just shy of a million”, but insisted that the auditions should return to his home country of Ireland as part of his deal.
So Simon has apparently agreed to take the show to Dublin, where John and Edward Grimes a.k.a Jedward were discovered, for the first time in six years.
“The ink is just drying on Louis’ contract, as he put pen to paper this week,” a source told Britain’s Daily Mirror newspaper. “He’s really excited about returning, but one of his stipulations was that the X Factor returned to Ireland to scout talent.
“The open auditions – which are only attended by producers, without any of the judges – took place in Dublin last month (Apr16), but plans have been made to return with Louis and co because it was important to him.
“Simon knows he had to make amends for dropping him last series, which he has previously admitted was a mistake. So it was the least he could do to make Louis happy this season.”
It is thought that Louis will be making a return to the show alongside two other former judges, Sharon Osbourne and Nicole Scherzinger, while Simon will also act as a judge on the programme once again.
“Louis is the first judge to officially sign up,” the source added. “He is expecting to return with Nicole and Sharon, but their contracts have not been signed yet.
“He didn’t even hesitate to sign up, but he’s really pleased they will be returning to Ireland. He thinks the Irish talent will be a boost to the show, and that they have been missing out the past few years.”
A spokesperson for the show refused to confirm any reports of the show’s panel.
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