Louis Walsh is to return to The X Factor for his record-breaking ninth year, it has been confirmed.

Louis is the second judge to be signed up for next series of the ITV talent show, joining Take That star Gary Barlow whose return was confirmed last month.

Renowned music manager Louis, who masterminded the careers of pop groups Boyzone and Westlife, has been on the judging panel for every series of The X Factor since its launch in 2004.

Louis said: “I’m back! It’s my ninth year on the show and as the only remaining original judge I’m delighted to take my seat once more on the judging panel.”

Simon Cowell said: “The show wouldn’t be the same without Louis, I am really happy he is coming back. I hope he has an opportunity this year to show what an astute manager he is.”

Richard Holloway, managing director, Thames, adding: “Louis’s wealth of experience in the music industry coupled with the fact he has been on every series of The X Factor makes him a fantastic Judge and mentor.”

The show’s other judges will be announced soon and the judges auditions tour starts later in the spring.

The X Factor returns to ITV in the autumn.