Published Thursday, 03 May 2012
Louis Walsh will be joining the X Factor judging panel for a ninth year. (© Getty)
Louis, who's credited with launching the careers of multi-million record selling boy bands Boyzone and Westlife, is now the second judge to be confirmed for the forthcoming new series - joining Take That's Gary Barlow.
"I'm back! It's my ninth year on the show and, as the only remaining original judge, I'm delighted to take my seat once more on the judging panel," Louis said.
X Factor supremo Simon Cowell also welcomed Louis back, claiming the show "wouldn't be the same" without him and adding: "I hope he has an opportunity this year to show what an astute manager he is."
According to X Factor bosses, the remaining judges will be announced soon.
Budding artists can still apply for the show via Facebook until 8 May, while the new series is due to air on UTV later this summer.
The X Factor was the most watched show in 2011 and was named Best Talent Show at the National TV Awards in January.