It's official: Ireland's Got Talent is happening - and Louis Walsh WILL be one of its judges

Denise Van Outen and Michelle Visage have also joined the show

©Thames / Syco Entertainment

An Irish version of Simon Cowell's Got Talent franchise has been officially announced today - and Louis Walsh has signed up to join its judging panel.

Louis is known as Simon's right-hand man, having appeared on all but one series of The X Factor UK.

Now, he has landed another top job in the media mogul's TV empire.

Dublin-based broadcaster TV3 today confirmed the launch of Ireland's Got Talent, with Louis as its lead judge.

The County Mayo native commented: "I'm delighted to be part of the very first Ireland's Got Talent.

"This will be the biggest search for talent that Ireland has ever seen. See you at the auditions, where we are going to prove to everybody that Ireland's got talent!"

Of course, it's not just Louis that contestants will have to impress, with bosses announcing a big-name panel.

Joining the former Westlife manager are West End star Denise Van Outen and popular Irish comedian Jason Byrne.

RuPaul's Drag Race personality and former Celebrity Big Brother finalist Michelle Visage completes the line-up.

Meanwhile, TV3 personality Lucy Kennedy will present the show.

The winning act will receive a €50,000 cash prize, as well as their own primetime Christmas special on TV3.

Rumours of Got Talent's arrival in Eire have been swirling for years, with broadcasters said to have turned the show down multiple times.

Earlier this month reports claimed that chiefs would have to stump up a €200,000 fee for Louis's involvement.

Ireland's Got Talent is due to begin airing in early 2018. It will not interfere with Louis's duties on The X Factor, which returns for its fourteenth series this weekend.

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