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'X Factor' 2016: Louis Tomlinson 'Rules Himself Out' As Judge, But Could Sharon Osbourne Return?

But wouldn't having Mrs. O back be just faaaaaabulous, darling?

28/03/2016 09:17

He looked like a dead cert for a coveted seat on the 'X Factor' panel, but Louis Tomlinson looks to have ruled himself out as a judge on this year's series. 

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The One Direction star has reportedly decided he will not join the ITV talent show this year, following speculation he would replace axed judge Nick Grimshaw

Doug Peters/Doug Peters
Louis Tomlinson might not be joining 'The X Factor' after all

Louis has reportedly decided to instead focus on his record label during One Direction's hiatus, with a source telling The Sun: "Louis loves 'The X Factor' but wants to develop his label further this year and sign more new talent," a source told the tabloid.

“Simon understands. They both agreed to not rule out him being an X Factor judge in the future.”

Louis enjoyed a successful guest stint on the show last year, when he joined Simon Cowell at Judges' Houses to help him pick his finalists. 

He previously admitted that he was interested in joining 'The X Factor' full-time, having found fame as a contestant on the show in 2010. 

He told The Sun last month: “We’ve had no official conversation yet. But yeah, I mean, why wouldn’t I?”

Alan Davidson/The Daily Mail/PA Wire
Simon Cowell is widely expected to invite Louis Walsh to return

It is thought that Louis' decision could pave the way for former judge Louis Walsh to take up his old seat on the panel, alongside Simon and Cheryl Fernandez-Versini

While it is thought Simon is desperate to resign Rita Ora as a judge, recent reports have claimed that Sharon Osbourne is set for a triumphant return. 

Radio Times reported that the pair have "built bridges" in recent times, with her appearing in 'Ant And Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway' skit, 'Who Shot Simon Cowell?'. 

An insider told the publication: “Simon and Sharon have always had a bit of a love/hate relationship. Her doing that maybe suggests they’re building bridges.”

Dominic Lipinski/PA Archive
Original judge Sharon Osbourne could return to the show

Sharon appeared as an original judge on the first four series, before quitting due to a feud with Dannii Minogue during the 2007 run. 

She later returned for a one-series comeback in 2013, when she won with contestant Sam Bailey

This year's 'X Factor' shake-up has already seen the departure of judge Nick Grimshaw, and hosts Olly Murs and Caroline Flack, as Simon attempts to boost flagging ratings. 

Former host Dermot O'Leary has reportedly been told to "name his price" to return to the show, after Olly and Caroline divided viewers when they took the reins last year. 

An official announcement on the new 'X Factor' line-up is expected before auditions begin filming in the summer. 

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