Louis quits The X Factor

Louis Walsh has quit The X Factor after 13 years, just weeks after it was revealed how Simon Cowell was planning to sack him.

He walked away from the show this afternoon and confirmed his departure in a statement.

Louis has been the longest running judge on The X Factor, appearing on all bar one series since the show began in 2004.

He said in a statement: “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!”

Thames Managing Director, Amelia Brown, added: “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.”

Earlier this year, The Sun revealed how music mogul and X Factor boss Simon hadn't renewed Nicole Scherzinger's contract and that Louis and Sharon Osbourne were also in the firing line.

Louis, who was paid £1million per series, later told us he'd interrupted Simon's holiday to Mexico to grill him on the decision to fire him.

Although he vowed he would be able to keep his job, it seems Louis decided to jump before he could be pushed.

Sharon - who has appeared on seven series - will take a new role on the show which will see her appear as a judge just on The X Factor’s live episodes.

Speaking about her new position, Sharon said: “I can’t wait to get back to the judges’ desk. I love the new format.”

Thames boss Amelia 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.”

So far 30,000 people have applied to take part in this year's competition.

Earlier this week, we revealed how bosses were considering cutting out open auditions because singers were too scared to perform in front of one another.

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