Louis Walsh is returning to his legendary judging seat on “The X Factor UK” for the show’s upcoming fourteenth season, which will premiere in the U.S. in a two-night event on Sept. 3 and Sept. 4 on AXS TV. The proud native Irishman is arguably a series mainstay, having been a judge since the show’s 2004 inception, except for 2015 when Rita Ora and Nick Grimshaw replaced him and Cheryl on the panel, only for Louis to return last season in 2016.
Whether he’s serving as the subject of Simon Cowell’s constant aging jokes, or he’s delivering one of his famous catch-phrases (“You look like a popstar, you sing like a popstar, you are a popstar”) the famed entertainment manager always manages to liven things up and keep the laughs rolling. Maybe Louis' penchant for laughing is why he's never afraid to push his acts to flaunt their own flair. Consider last season’s eccentric fight-and-make-up over raw chicken duo Bradley and Ottavio, who later changed the name of their act to Bratavio. Their “Boom Boom Boom” and “Barbie Girl” mashup was a jaw-dropping endeavor, in the sweetest, hot mess kind of way.
And, how about “Louis Loves” being on the spinning song category wheel last season? Yes, we were all curious as to what kinds of songs would make this cut. Were any of us really surprised at the mixed bag of music treasures like “Super Freak” by Rick James, “U Can’t Touch This” by MC Hammer, and “Toxic” by Britney Spears to name a few? Not really.
Speaking of that spinning wheel, we’ve been treated to cartoon cut-outs of Louis’ widely-grinning face there and other places in “X Factor” history. Remember when his face was plastered on the side of a city tour bus, after his wish was granted for auditions to be held in Dublin last season? Louis is always smiling, or laughing, except when he’s disagreeing or arguing with Simon, that is … (Seriously Louis. How could you ever tell a dimpled 16-year-old auditioning Harry Styles he “wasn’t ready”? We were totally waiting for “you look like a popstar").
Keeping it real, though, Louis Walsh is a bonafide boyband builder extraordinaire. He managed Boyzone, Westlife and Jedward, to name a few. Boyzone alone sold over 20 million albums worldwide and garnered six No. 1 singles. Louis definitely lends a lot of music industry wisdom and experience to his “X Factor UK” mentoring role. We can’t wait to see what he brings to the table this season.
Here are a few fun facts you may not know about Louis Walsh, as reported by thefamouspeople.com: He hails from a big Irish family and has lots of siblings. He managed his first act, Time Machine, at just 15-years-old. He is the recipient of the 2009 Mayo Person of the Year award from Mayo Dublin Association (his home county) and the Mayo News report of this honor described him as “the undisputed King of the Irish pop scene.”
Watch the fun video reel above to see some of Louis Walsh’s signature “X Factor UK” moments.
“The X Factor UK” premieres in the U.S. on Sunday Sept. 3 and Monday Sept. 4 at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT, only on AXS TV. Tune in and use the hashtag #UKintheUSA to show your "X Factor" love during the premiere. Find AXS TV on your TV and stay tuned to AXS for ongoing “X Factor UK” coverage.