Louis Walsh is leaving The X Factor after 13 years as a judge on the ITV talent show. 

Walsh, who has been with the show since 2004, said: "I've had a fantastic 13 years on The X Factor but the show needs a change and I'm ready to leave.

"I'm looking forward to another series of Ireland's Got Talent, going back to my day job as a manager, writing my memoirs and seeing the world!"

Simon Cowell - Returning with new judges

As part of the shake-up ahead of the 15th season of The X Factor, show boss Simon Cowell will be joined by three new judges. Nicole Scherzinger is also departing and fellow judge Sharon Osbourne will only be taking part in the live shows.

Speaking on The Ray D'Arcy Show on RTÉ One in April, Walsh appeared enthusiastic about returning to The X Factor.

The way they were

"I have a three-year contract and I've done two," he said. "So I must be back."

When asked by the host if he had "got the call", Walsh replied laughing: "I've got a contract! And I think Sharon Osbourne has too."

In a statement on Thursday, Amelia Brown, Managing Director of Thames TV, said: "Louis has been a huge part of The X Factor's success since it launched and remains a good friend of the show.

"His contribution cannot be overstated. We would like to thank him for all he has given to the show over the years and look forward to continuing to work with him in the future."

"We are very excited Sharon is taking on a new role on the show and we can't wait to see her as a judge on the live episodes," Brown continued.

"This is the start of a new era for The X Factor. I am really excited about all the ideas we have for the coming series including, of course, the new judging panel."

The X Factor has been holding open auditions for prospective contestants in London this week.