X Factor 2013: Simon Cowell wins battle with ITV to keep Louis Walsh but they get to keep Gary Barlow in return!

louis walsh, simon cowell

We reported recently that ITV executives had stood their ground when X Factor guru Simon Cowell demanded that Take That singer and X Factor judge Gary Barlow – who Simon reportedly deems to be “boring” – be axed from the show ahead of the new series…

They won that round in the battle of wills with Simon, however, he’s leveled the scores by insisting that old faithful Louis Walsh return as a judge this year.

The Sun’s TV Biz reports, “The music mogul’s senior advisers will sit down with ITV top brass next week to thrash out the new format and panel — and decide on how much cash will be spent on the new series.”

And of course, it’s been widely reported that Sharon Osbourne is headed back to the judging panel and will replace Tulisa who it’s rumoured will be axed from the show. It’s also thought that Nicole Scherzinger will remain on the panel.

But of Simon’s fight to keep Louis on the show, a friend of the Irishman told the paper, “He’s been told by the heads of entertainment at louis walsh faceITV that he’s coming back and (executive producer) Richard Holloway has also said he’ll be back.

“Obviously he wants to see the contract in his hand but everyone who has the power to make a decision on it has said he’s coming back so if that changes something very odd has gone on.

“Normally it’s Simon who upsets the apple cart at the last minute but he’s been desperate to keep Louis on the show so he’s unlikely to give him the axe.

“He’s always said he wants to do ten series of the show.”

Earlier this month, Britain’s Got Talent co-presenter Ant McPartlin also went in to bat for Louis, remarking, “Louis really wants to make it ten years and I think they should let him have his ten years.”

Are you glad or sad that Louis will be back? For now, here’s a look at him on the show’s early days…

Lynn is an editor and writer here at Unreality TV and is a trained psychotherapist and the author of two books. She's addicted to soaps, period drama and reality TV shows such as X Factor, Big Brother, BGT and I'm A Celeb.