Following a number of years of a decline in ratings The X Factor is getting a shake-up for its 2018 series.

BBC celebrity dance contest has regularly battered ITV’s The X Factor in recent years.

Producers of The X Factor – Thames Television and Syco – have confirmed that the man that gave the world Boyzone, Louis Walsh, has decided to bow out of the ITV search for a singer series.

Louis has been the longest running judge on The X Factor, appearing on all bar one series since the show began in 2004. Bosses have been keen to point out that Louis isn’t retiring or leaving the show on bad terms as the Irish music mogul will continue to work with Thames Television and Syco, notably as head judge on Ireland’s Got Talent which returns in 2019.

“I’ve had a fantastic 13 years on The X Factor but the show needs a change and I’m ready to leave. I’m looking forward to another series of Ireland’s Got Talent, going back to my day job as a manager, writing my memoirs and seeing the world!” – Louis Walsh

Louis Walsh is concentrating on his Irish telly work.

Sharon Osbourne, who has appeared on seven series, has also chosen to take on a new role on the show, which will see her appear as a judge on The X Factor’s live episodes. The developments signal the beginning of a new era for the UK’s music talent show, which returns to ITV for its 15th series later this year. The changes no doubt ITV execs will hope to stem the decline in ratings and even take the show once again ahead of beeb rival Saturday night extravaganza Strictly Come Dancing.

“I can’t wait to get back to the judges’ desk. I love the new format.” – Sharon Osbourne

Creator Simon Cowell will return to The X Factor for the new series with three new fellow judges being announced in due course. Judges’ auditions for The X Factor 2018 will take place at The SSE Arena, Wembley. More than 30,000 contestants have so far entered the 2018 series.

While following the news that Louis Walsh has quit the show after 13 years, William Hill have rejigged their market as to who will be a judge on the forthcoming series and make Cheryl Cole and Rita Ora both odds on at 1/4 and 2/5. As for who will be the other male, if indeed there is one, it looks like the flip of a coin between Robbie Williams and Louis Tomlinson who are 6/4 and 5/2 respectively.

“For the last five years, Louis Walsh has been odds on to depart and every year, we have had a new name in the frame to replace him. Now he has announced he is leaving though, we can’t make our minds up as to who will fill one of the hottest seats in town.” – William Hill spokesman Joe Crilly.

Simon Cowell will be hoping the show regains its ratings X Factor this year.
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