Simon Cowell: I would not rule out Louis Walsh X Factor return
X Factor judge Simon Cowell has said he would not rule out the return of Louis Walsh to the show.
The music mogul also revealed that both Fleur East and previous X Factor winner Ben Haenow will be back on the programme.
Cowell spoke to the Press Association during a visit to the BRIT School and the Nordoff Robbins facilities in the grounds in Croydon, south London.
He surprised students at the school, and also spent time with a family undergoing music therapy with Nordoff Robbins.
When asked if a recent Tweet where he hinted at "some surprises to come" was referring to Walsh's return, he said: "I wouldn't rule out anything..."
He added: "And by the way, when I say these things, sometimes I'm thinking, I've got to ask about 25 people here, and half of them will go no, but I just put it out there anyway, because we like to try new things."
"And hopefully some things will be a surprise, but you've got to be fearless when you do these types of things, and you've got to have a sense of humour.
"If I thought the viewers would like to see him on some of the live shows, why not?"
Recent reports suggested Walsh had turned down the chance to be in ITV's I'm A Celebrity, so he could make an X Factor return.
Cowell also sang the praises of new judge Nick Grimshaw.
"Nick by the way, just for the record, I love Nick and I love this panel, it works and it's fun and they're enjoying it."
Former winner Haenow announced his new single, Second Hand Heart, which features American superstar Kelly Clarkson.
The single is set to appear on his self-titled debut album, and is due for release on October 9.
"Well, it did make me laugh because we've taken our time on Ben's record and Fleur's record intentionally," Cowell said.
"Because you can't make a good record in five minutes. So I've started to read a lot of stuff recently, you know people saying where have they gone, this is an example that no one can do well on these shows, and I'm thinking yeah, wait till you hear their records because I've already heard them.
"So we've kept it quite low key, they've got on with their job and worked hard, they've both, I think, found the sound that suits them. They're going to both obviously come back on the show, and I think both first singles are sensational, I mean, really good records.
"There's always a lot of cynicism, you know, can anyone who goes on these shows, can they actually have a career and I think over time we're beginning to prove a point."
Talking about the BRIT School, which has among its famous alumni the likes of the late Amy Winehouse, Adele, Jessie J and more, he said it is the type of place he wished he could have attended.
"The second I pulled up I thought, why didn't I go to a school like this, I would have loved it, because I hated school so much. I was so bored, it was so dusty and old-fashioned. You walk in here, everyone's having fun, there's a good energy, you can tell they love being at the school, and just, enthusiasm and optimism."
Would he be singing right now if he had attended the BRIT School?
"100%, I would be the biggest recording artist in the world right now, or maybe an actor," he joked.
"I think, no, I'm lying, but I think that's what the school does, if you want to go behind the scenes like I did, you can ... it's pretty amazing they have a place like this."
Cowell visited the Brit School and Nordoff Robbins facility ahead of being honoured at this year's Music Industry Trust Awards (MITS).