It's hard to imagine an 'X Factor' without Louis Walsh on the panel mentioning 'star quality', or saying stuff like 'You are what this show is ALL about' or 'You look like a popstar, you sing like a popstar, you are a popstar' - but the Mayo man is departing the TV talent show after 13 years.

Walsh - who has appeared as a judge since 2004 - made the shock announcement yesterday evening, saying that he was leaving to spend time writing his memoirs, amongst other endeavours.

"I've had a fantastic 13 years on 'The X Factor' but the show needs a change and I'm ready to leave," he said. "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!"

Meanwhile, Sharon Osbourne is returning as a judge in what's rumoured to be a hefty deal - but will only appear at the live shows. "I can't wait to get back to the judges' desk," she said. "I love the new format."

With Nicole Scherzinger also not returning for the new series, Simon Cowell has his work cut out in finding three new replacements to join him...