The music mogul - who along with Simon Cowell is one of the original judges (as in, he lasted two seasons, largely thanks to the fact he's not a female and therefore interchangeable) on the US show - has decided not to return to the competition next year because he wants to focus on his role as chairman of Epic Records.

He told Access Hollywood: "I have decided that I will not return to The X Factor next year. It saddens me a little bit, but only a little bit. I have a company to run that I've kind of neglected... I love Simon. We have a great relationship. We have fun together, we talk, we laugh and do bad things, we're friends. This was a nice break but now it's time to get back to work."

Along with L.A's departure, it was recently claimed Britney Spears' future on the panel is also in doubt as producers are under pressure to cut costs.

A source said: "Producers were hoping to pull in between 15-20 million viewers but the show hasn't reached those expectations and in a recent episode that clashed with the World Series only 5.7 million watched. Those numbers add up to cost cutting and Britney will be expendable. So, considering Fox has already renewed The X Factor for a third season, producers will be looking to spend less on the production of the show, including the judges' salaries. Britney, who was signed on a one-year deal, is the first person who will be expected to have her salary chopped. She is on a $15 million contract, which is absurd given that there's been no huge surge in the ratings."

So absurd that it made her the top earning woman in music this year, according to the nosy folk at Forbes. Despite neither releasing a new album or going on tour, she managed to rake in $58 million.

But enough about Britney; somewhere Louis Walsh is doing an expectant jig, reminding Siiiiimon just how much the Americans looooooove the IIIIIIIIIIIIIrish.