Louis Walsh claims Simon Cowell ‘needed’ to bring him back to X Factor and ‘always realises in the end’

He's part of the furniture!

Louis Walsh might have been dropped as an X Factor judge twice before, but he's wangled his way back on to the judging panel for this year's spin-off series, X Factor Celebrity.

And the Irish star – who is basically part of the furniture when it comes to X Factor – has claimed Simon Cowell has finally realised that he needs right-hand-man Louis to keep the wheels turning.

Speaking ahead of the first X Factor Celebrity live show tonight, Louis said: “Simon has tried this before and it didn’t work, but this feels like a completely new show and he may not want to admit it but deep down he knew he needed me back.”

READ MORE: WILL BRENDAN COLE BE ABLE TO ‘BITE HIS TONGUE’ ON X FACTOR?

Poking fun at Simon’s changing face, Louis added: “He always realises in the end. I think he doesn’t like the fact I’ve had less plastic surgery than him, and me being on the panel is a constant reminder.”

Louis Walsh arriving for X Factor auditions in Leicester

Louis was initially replaced on the X Factor judging panel in 2015 by Nick Grimshaw after claiming he wanted to focus on “full-time music management.” Rumours quickly started circulating that he’d been sacked from the show, but Louis came out and said he’d quit.

READ MORE: WHY CELEBRITY X FACTOR’S JENNY THOUGHT IT WAS THE END OF THE ROAD

The 67-year-old returned in 2016 before formally quitting again in 2018 – when he was replaced by Louis Tomlinson. On his decision to hang up his X Factor boots, Louis said: “The show needs a change and I’m ready to leave.”

But, with the new celebrity format announced earlier this year – it seemed Louis was high not just on Simon’s list of people to bring back, but his son Eric’s too.

One Direction’s Louis Tomlinson ‘to be a judge on X Factor’

“Even his son wanted me back,” Louis confessed. “Simon phoned me and said Eric told him, ‘Can you bring back Uncle Louis?'”

Although the new format – which has seen the likes of Megan McKenna, Brendan Cole and The Chase’s Jenny Ryan audition for the chance to win a recording contract – has proved popular on Twitter, it has been crushed in the ratings battle with Strictly Come Dancing.

In its opening week X Factor Celebrity peaked at 5.3 million with the numbers rising to 7 million over a week. But these figures dropped to 4.3 million during the second episode. While rival BBC show, Strictly, drew an audience of 10 million.

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