Crisis talks after Louis quits X Factor

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The Independent Online

X Factor bosses are holding crisis talks with judge Louis Walsh today after the Irishman walked out over a fall-out with his fellow judges.

A spokesman for the ITV show said: "We are talking to Louis and we hope we will be able to persuade him to return to the show on Saturday."

On last week's show, Sharon Osbourne poured three glasses of water over Walsh after he slated a performance by the band Journey South.

And the final straw came when Simon Cowell branded him an "idiot" in an interview earlier this week.

Walsh told The Sun: "I have been totally humiliated and undermined by both of them. This has caused me nothing but stress ... I have had enough. I'm going back to Dublin. I'm not putting up with it any more."

The headline-grabbing walkout comes after The X Factor was beaten in the ratings for the third week running by BBC rival Strictly Come Dancing.

And by coincidence, the news broke on the day Cowell faces a £100 million High Court battle over the reality show.

His old friend Simon Fuller, the man behind the Spice Girls and S Club 7, is claiming the X Factor is a rip-off of his Pop Idol format.

Walsh's dramatic exit comes after he was heavily criticised for choosing to keep The Conway Sisters in the competition instead of Maria.

The Westlife manager was friends with the Irish group before the show, prompting Osbourne to say he was voting with his passport.

Both she and Cowell have since apologised to Walsh and asked him to come back.

Cowell told The Sun: "I've been called all sorts of things but I have taken it in the spirit it was meant. I have known Louis for years. I know what a success he is. If I offended him, I apologise. We want him back."

Sharon also urged Louis to return, saying she liked and respected him and was shocked and saddened by his departure.

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