Louis Walsh predicts X Factor UK axe next year after poor ratings

Louis Walsh (X Factor 2012)

X Factor judge Louis Walsh has said that the show could be axed next year after falling ratings.

Despite previously defending the programme's decline in viewers, Louis admitted this week that its future was in doubt.

The latest audition episodes on Saturday and Sunday night slipped to less than 8 million viewers for the first time, a series low.

Speaking from his judges' houses in Las Vegas, Louis said: "I think it may end after one more year. I think the tenth season could be it.

"Then, I will just have time for myself! It has just been an amazing time for me, because the people I have met and friendships I've developed.

"I would like to get to the tenth series, have a decade on the show - I'm just happy to be working, to be honest."

Louis admitted that he missed Kelly Rowland "a little bit" from the panel, but insisted he was good friends of all of this year's new line up.

"I'm good friends with Tulisa. Honestly, I am very good friends with her.

"And I love looking at Nicole Scherzinger, she is just breathtakingly beautiful. I have great admiration for Gary too, and we all do get on well. But I'm closest to Tulisa."

Speaking ahead of the new series last month, Tulisa defended the show from ratings criticism.

She said: “Just because on the odd night here and there we dropped down one mill, it doesn’t mean the show is in crisis. It’s changed very much over the years and it was still the biggest show [last year] second to the Royal Wedding. I’m not worried about it at all.”

The X Factor 2012 continues on ITV1 this Saturday and Sunday with the final rounds of auditions.

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