Louis Walsh
Louis Walsh
Birth Name
Michael Louis Vincent Walsh
Music manager, television personality, television talent competition judge
15 August 1952 Kiltimagh, County Mayo, Ireland

Michael Louis Vincent Walsh (born 5 August 1952) is an Irish music manager and judge on The X Factor UK. He was briefly replaced by Brian Friedman for Series 4, but when Brian proved too critical, he was brought back. Walsh even got a chance to be a judge on The X Factor USA when he subbed for Simon Cowell, who had been sick, when the auditions took place in Kansas City, Missouri in June 2012. For Series 9 of The X Factor, Walsh mentored the Groups category.

In May 2015, reports began to surface that he wouldn't be returing for Series 12.  He stated he hadn't been hired, but he hadn't been sacked either, he just wasn't returning. On 18th June 2015, it was announced that he would be replaced by DJ Nick Grimshaw, fellow judge Rita Ora also replaced Mel B.

After the departures of Nick Grimshaw, Rita Ora and Cheryl Fernandez-Versini, it was announced that he would be returning to the judging panel for the show's 13th series alongside Sharon Osbourne and Nicole Scherzinger.  In December 2016, he confirmed that he had signed on for two more series.

He is the most successful judge on the UK version in terms of his acts reaching the finals since they have done so in 2004, 2005, 2008, 2013 and 2016.

In 2017, he was assisted by Grammy nominated British singer-songwriter and former X Factor Italy judge Mika at his Judges' Houses.

Although it was initially reproted that he would be returning to the show for Series 15, in June 2018 he released a statement confirming his departure.

Judges Rank

Year Category Last Act Position
2004 Groups G4 Runners-up
2005 16-24s Shayne Ward Winner
2006 Groups The MacDonald Brothers 4th
2007 Over 25s Niki Evans 4th
2008 Groups JLS Runners-up
2009 Groups Jedward 6th
2010 Over 28s Mary Byrne 5th
2011 Over 25s Kitty Brucknell 7th
2012 Groups Union J 4th
2013 Boys Nicholas McDonald Runner-up
2014 Groups Stereo Kicks 5th
2016 Groups 5 After Midnight 3rd
2017 Boys Lloyd Macey 4th