'X Factor' U.K. Veteran Judge Louis Walsh to Return for Ninth Season

4:55 AM PST 05/04/2012 by Georg Szalai
Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

The music manager is the only judge to have been with Simon Cowell's music talent competition since its launch in 2004.

LONDON - The team of judges for the U.K. version of The X Factor is slowly coming together, with ITV confirming the return of show veteran Louis Walsh for the music talent competition's ninth season.

The music manager is the only judge to have been with the Simon Cowell-created show, which returns to ITV in late summer, since its launch in 2004. Last month, the show had already announced that Take That star Gary Barlow would return as a judge.

Earlier in the week, it emerged though that Destiny's Child star Kelly Rowland wouldn't return for another season on the judging panel. Dannii Minogue has been mentioned as a possible new judge.

"Yep I’m back! It’s my ninth year on the show and as the only remaining original judge I’m delighted to take my seat once more on the judging panel,” he said in a statement.

Said Cowell: “The show wouldn’t be the same without Louis, I am really happy he is coming back. I hope he has an opportunity this year to show what an astute manager he is.”

The other judges for the show will be announced "soon," with the Judges Auditions Tour starting later in the spring, ITV said.

Email: Georg.Szalai@thr.com

Twitter: @georgszalai

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