Louis Walsh has become the first rumoured X Factor 2016 judge to officially sign up for the new series in a near-£1million deal, it is claimed.
According to The Mirror, the Irish music boss has agreed a fee worth "just shy of" seven figures for a comeback, one year after he was dumped from the ITV talent contest.
In a further bid to win Louis over, his pal Simon Cowell has promised to film a round of the upcoming televised auditions in Dublin for the first time in six years.
"The ink is just drying on Louis’ contract, as he put pen to paper this week," a source explained. "He’s really excited about returning, but one of his stipulations was that the X Factor returned to Ireland to scout talent because it was important to him.
"Simon knows he had to make amends for dropping him last series, which he has previously admitted was a mistake. So it was the least he could do to make Louis happy this season."
The X Factor hasn't held judge auditions in Ireland since its seventh series in 2010, which featured the likes of One Direction and Matt Cardle.
Earlier this week, Rita Ora confirmed her exit from the show, leaving Simon with three judging spots to fill. It was reported that Louis, Nicole Scherzinger and Sharon Osbourne would join him on this year's panel, but The Mirror adds that the latter two are still in negotiations.
"Louis is the first judge to officially sign up," the mole added. "He is expecting to return with Nicole and Sharon, but their contracts have not been signed yet."
An X Factor spokesperson said only that this year's line-up is "yet to be confirmed".
Simon previously hinted that he regretted ditching Louis, saying: "What none of us anticipated is how much people like Louis. I can’t explain it. I think people obviously miss him."
However, he is thought to have faced a battle in convincing ITV that it is the right move to bring Louis back.