Louis Walsh says he'll definitely be back on The X Factor this year

louis walsh

Louis Walsh says he's signed a new contract to return to The X Factor judging panel.

The Irish music mogul has been widely expected to return to the show this year after leaving in 2015 following a decade behind the judges' desk.

It's the third major U-turn made in twelve months, with host Dermot O'Leary also returning alongside the more intimate room auditions.

Speaking to the Sunday World newspaper (via UTV), Louis declared: "The viewers wanted me back and I'm thrilled to be back."

He explained: "I’ve signed a new contract.

"I'm back, I’m signed and I want an Irish act.

“I want them to be really good and I want them to make the final..."

Louis went on to reveal: "We start auditions in Cardiff in June."

Despite Louis' comments, his spot on the panel has NOT yet been officially confirmed by ITV.

However with filming beginning next month, news is expected imminently on just who will be this year's judges.

Alongside Louis - and of course Simon Cowell - both Nicole Scherzinger and Sharon Osbourne are expected to return in a throw back to the 2013 panel.

Then tenth series saw Louis, Nicole and Sharon judging alongside Gary Barlow with Sam Bailey winning the competition.

Music composer Andrew Lloyd-Webber seemed to confirm Nicole's appearance last week, revealing she had turned down a role in a Broadway production of Cats to join The X Factor.

As for Sharon, recent reports have claimed she has been offered a massive £2 million fee to make a comeback for what would be a third stint on the show.

The X Factor 2016 airs on ITV later this year.

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