Louis Walsh
Louis Walsh has confirmed this will be his final series as judge on X Factor.

Louis Walsh has announced he will be quitting The X Factor after nearly a decade in the judges' hot seat.

The 61-year-old star, who joined the judging panel when the show launched in 2004, revealed he plans to bow out for good to focus on other projects. He will leave the show at the end of the current series.

Walsh is the only member of the original judging panel to have completed all nine series thus far. Sharon Osbourne quit in 2008, only to return this year, while Simon Cowell left in 2011 to launch The X Factor in America.

"I'm happy this is going to be my last year," he told the TV Times. "I've been judging X Factor for 10 years so I've done it all.

"It was never my plan to be on TV but Simon (Cowell) put me there. I'm very grateful to him but I need my life back."

He added: "I'm going to be managing Shane Filan from Westlife and I'm putting together a new boyband."

The music manager helped steer the careers of successful boybands Westlife and Boyzone.

During his tenure on The X Factor, Walsh championed the likes of JLS and Shayne Ward and famously got a drenching from Sharon Osbourne during the live shows after asking the outspoken judge if she'd been taking any of husband Ozzy's drugs.

Known for his fondness for novelty acts, Walsh gave the world Irish twins, Jedward in 2009. He now manages the brothers.

Walsh is currently busy filming auditions for this year's show with co-judges Gary Barlow, Sharon Osbourne and Nicole Scherzinger.

Osbourne, who quit the show in 2008, has said she has no plans to extend her X Factor comeback for more than one series.