Belfast Telegraph

Cowell: I want Louis on X Factor

Simon Cowell has said The X Factor "wouldn't be the same" without Louis Walsh on the judging panel.

Speaking at the opening night of X Factor Musical I Can't Sing, the music mogul said he was delighted to have Cheryl Cole back for the 11th series of the ITV talent show, but admitted he hopes Louis will return as well.

He said: "Louis - I would love him to come back and do the show, it wouldn't be the same without him.

"Other people have different views, so we have to agree on it. But a lot of the stuff I've read about in the press... I haven't spoken to these people."

He refused to reveal who else was joining him on the panel, but denied he had been in talks with Rihanna.

Asked if he was returning to the panel, Louis said: "I'm there if I'm invited."

Simon also revealed how he managed to win Cheryl back after he dropped her from The X Factor USA after just one week.

"I charmed her," he said.

He added: "You know why she came back? We were having a conversation at my house and we were talking about the talent we had that final year in 2010 - One Direction, Rebecca Ferguson, Cher Lloyd, Matt Cardle, we just had great people, and we just suddenly thought we want to do it all over again. And that was the incentive to do it because there are still great people in this country left."

According to reports, Simon wants to shake up the show this year by axing the bootcamp round.

The plan is part of the show boss's attempt to revitalise the ITV show following flagging ratings.

The Sun reports the Simon wants to concentrate on the six-chair challenge, introduced last year, in which judges can decide to drop one of the acts that they had already put through.

A source said: "Simon thinks the bootcamp process can drag on a bit and isn't very exciting. The plan is to axe it and just focus more on the six-chair challenge. Simon loves it - the drama and controversy is right up his street."

Contestants are traditionally whittled down from more than 200, through singing challenges, in the bootcamp round.

Judges could now have to pick their favourite acts by the end of the audition rounds.

In another twist, Simon hinted he could be returning to the American Idol panel as well.

He sent a cryptic tweet saying: "One day Paula Randy Me and Ryan will reunite. I know it will happen. It was a special time."


From Belfast Telegraph