Louis Walsh signs for ninth series of The X Factor

Louis Walsh has signed up for a ninth series of 'The X Factor' and has confirmed he will be returning alongside Tulisa Contostavlos and Gary Barlow

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Louis Walsh

Louis Walsh

Louis Walsh has signed up for a ninth series of 'The X Factor'.

The 59-year-old star - who has appeared on the ITV1 talent show since it launched in 2004 - is "so happy" to have confirmed another year on the panel, and is thrilled to be the longest-standing judge on the programme after boss Simon Cowell quit to launch the US series last year.

He said: "I am so happy to have signed up for another year. It's my ninth year, I'm the only person to be in it for nine years.

"I signed the deal yesterday - making it my ninth year on the show. I never wanted to be on TV, it was never in my plan. But now I'm on it, I love the show."

Louis - who has mentored the likes of Jedward, Kitty Brucknell and Wagner Fiuza-Carrilho in previous years - revealed Tulisa Contostavlos and Gary Barlow will "definitely" joining him on the 'X Factor' panel once again, but he is "not sure" whether Kelly Rowland will still be a judge on the show.

He added to the Daily Mirror newspaper: "I know two of the judges who are going to be beside me, but I still don't know who the fourth is going to be just yet.

"I know for definite that Tulisa is back, and Gary is back. I'm not sure if Kelly is back, but I hope she is, because she worked really hard last year."

Former pop star Sinitta - who has accompanied both Simon and Louis at the Judges' Houses stage of the competition in previous years - recently claimed the 52-year-old music mogul will make a return to the panel in 2012 alongside all four judges.

She said: "Simon plans to be back, along with last year's judges, Gary Barlow, Tulisa Contostavlos, Kelly Rowland and Louis Walsh. But he won't be able to return full time because he's so busy. He likes winning, so he's set on beating 'Strictly' in the ratings."

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