Belfast Telegraph

Louis Walsh: I wanted Osbourne back

Louis Walsh was hoping that Sharon Osbourne would return to The X Factor, following the exits of Cheryl Cole and Dannii Minogue.

The Irish judge, who is joined instead by Take That's Gary Barlow, Kelly Rowland and Tulisa Contostavlos for the upcoming series, wanted the outspoken star to reprise her role on the judging panel, which she left in 2007 following a reported rift with Dannii.

"I would have loved Sharon back," Louis told the Daily Mail.

"I thought Dannii would be back too. I felt bad when I heard Dannii wasn't coming back. I really got to know her in the past two years."

But their friendship didn't get off to a good start.

"We had a difficult time at first, but that was because I was very much in Sharon's camp. I'm loyal and Sharon is a good friend," he said.

"She says what she thinks. She and Dannii had their differences, but I think both would have been great this year."

Louis - who spoke out against Cheryl on the show last season - has been in touch with her, following her departure from the US version.

"I thought it would work for her in America. It wasn't anyone's fault it didn't. It's a different planet and she's not as tough as people think," he continued.

"She didn't take up the offer to come back to the UK panel because she probably didn't want to go backwards. I know she wants to do music, she wants to dance."

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