Louis Walsh has decided to leave the talent show The X Factor, after what has been described as 13 “fantastic” years.
Walsh, 65, has been the show’s longest-serving judge, who appear in all but one edition since it began in 2004.
The production company Thames thanked him for playing a “great part” in the show’s success.
Simon Cowell will return to the show for the next series, along with three new judges, whose identities have not yet been announced.
“The show needs a change and I’m ready to go,” Walsh said in a statement.
He added that he would remain a judge on Ireland’s got Talent, as well as that focuses more on “my day working as a manager, to write my memories and see the world.”Has original music save The X Factor?
Amelia Brown, director of Thames, said: “His contribution cannot be overstated.
“We would like to thank him for all that he has given to the show over the years and we look forward to continuing working with him in the future.”
Sharon Osbourne will have a reduced role in the show when it returns for a 15th series at the end of this year, appearing as a judge only during the live episodes, skipping the audition process.
“I can’t wait to get back to the judges “office”,” she said. “I love the new format”.
Ms Brown added: “This is the beginning of a new era for The X Factor. I am very excited about all the ideas that we have for the next in the series, including, of course, the new panel of judges.”
The judges of the auditions of the X Factor 2018 will take place at Wembley stadium in London and previously announced auditions in Liverpool, which will take place at the headquarters of the capital.
More than 30,000 contestants have already entered in the 2018 series after the open auditions around the country.