The X Factor: Louis Walsh says he ‘cannot’ be dropped from show | TV & Radio | Showbiz & TV

The X Factor: Louis Walsh says he ‘cannot’ be dropped from show | TV & Radio | Showbiz & TV

X Factor veteran Louis Walsh has slammed reports he and Sharon Osbourne face the chop this year after it was claimed producers planned to drop them from the popular ITV show.

The 65-year-old revealed he and Sharon Osbourne, 65, both have three year contracts to appear as judges on the talent show.

He also said the binding document is “watertight”, making it near impossible to get rid of them without compensation.

“My contract is watertight. I’ve checked it out with someone and have told Simon that. He has asked me to come and see him in LA,” he said.

“I have spoken to Sharon. She’s said they can only sack us if they pay us.”

He went on to tell The Sun: “I don’t think they’ve finalised what they’re going to do with the panel.

“We have three-year contracts. We both do.”

The Irishman also dismissed claims he was being dropped from the show because he allegedly took part in a hearing aid commercial for optical retail chain Specsavers.

“I never did an ad for hearing aids. I had to do a test and they said my hearing was perfect – 100 per cent perfect – so I couldn’t do it.”

It comes after sources claimed Nicole Scherzinger would not return to the series later this year because producers wanted to “bring in fresh blood.”

A TV insider said: “Nicole was a passionate judge but has no contract and won’t be back this year in order to bring in fresh blood.”

Celebrities in the running to replace Nicole include former judge Cheryl, Britain’s Got Talent judge Alesha Dixon, Kylie Minogue and Mariah Carey.

Gushing over the Pussycat Doll’s Nicole, Louis said: “Nicole was brilliant. Honestly, I love her.

“She always brought something new. She mentored her acts. She spent time with her acts. She’d be the last out of the studio at night.

“I think they should bring Nicole back. Simon loved her the first two or three years.

“She never gives up and she always wants to win and she always looks amazing.”

Louise has sat on the judging panel almost every year since its inauguration back in 2004, except when Nick Grimshaw replaced him 2015.

He was reinstated a year later but has only ever won the show once in 2005 with singing hopeful Shayne Ward, who now appears in Coronation Street.

However, many of Louis’ acts, including boyband JLS and brother duo Jedward, went on to find huge success outside of the show.

The X Factor returns to ITV  later this year.

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