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Simon Cowell to replace Louis Walsh on X Factor - reports

Simon Cowell could be set to make a dramatic return to the X Factor judging panel at the expense of Louis Walsh.

The former Westlife and Boyzone manager is close to being axed from the reality show according to reports after viewing figures for this year fell dramatically by 2.5 million over the last few weeks.

'It doesn't take a genius to work out that Simon not being on has hit the ratings,' a show insider told The Sun.

The unnamed mole continued: 'ITV are happy with the panel. They think they're great. But they realise when it comes to X Factor judges, there isn't anyone like Simon. He is X Factor.'

'Simon has a lot on his plate in America with the US X Factor but he has not ruled out a return. The likelihood is that Louis will be gone next year — and Simon could make a welcome return.'

Cowell quit the X Factor UK judging panel to launch the US version of the show this year but hasn’t ruled out a return to ITV’s flagship programme.

'I'm flattered that people are missing me — but I don't want anyone to miss the show,' the media mogul told The Sun.

Although ratings are down compared to last year’s viewing figures, ITV insist the current series of the show has still been a success.

'The show remains the most popular entertainment programme and this is the second most popular series in its eight-year history,' a spokesperson for the station commented.

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