Will Westlife’s Kian Egan take Louis Walsh’s chair as an X Factor judge?
By DAN WOOTTON
Wounded Simon Cowell is not in a mood to be messed with and is considering ‘sweeping changes’ to The X Factor later this year, I’m told.
Following his purge of close friend Paula Abdul, as well as Nicole Scherzinger and Steve Jones, from the U.S. version earlier in the week, he’s turning his attention to the UK show.
But ITV executives are urging him ‘not to throw the baby out with the bathwater’.
The first decisions to be made are expected to be about the future of host Dermot O’Leary and judge Gary Barlow. ITV would rather they stay but Cowell is not certain.
One new name in the mix to replace the Take That star if he were to depart the talent show is Westlife member Kian Egan.
The Irish singer turned music manager has impressed on his home country’s version of new talent show The Voice and plans to move into the TV world full-time following the band’s farewell tour.
My source says: ‘Kian is highly rated and would be a perfect judge, although whether he is considered will depend on what happens with Louis Walsh.’
Show insiders believe it would be impossible to have both Louis and Kian on the show because they are both so closely connected to the Irish music scene (Louis is Westlife’s manager). ‘In reality, Kian can only be considered if Louis doesn’t come back,’ a source explains.