Louis Walsh was set to compete in I’m A Celebrity… until Simon Cowell talked him out of it.
Simon dissuaded his former X Factor co-judge from heading to the Australian jungle for the latest series of I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here!, which launched on Sunday.
Simon Cowell and Louis Walsh (Jon Furniss/Invision)
Louis said: “I was supposed to be doing it. I met them three times, I was nearly going… Simon told me he didn’t think it would be good for my credibility. He actually talked me out of it. Otherwise I was going to do it.”
He added: “I might do I’m A Celebrity next year. I’m going to keep the door open. It depends who you’re in with, but then they don’t tell you who you’re going to be in with.
Irish music mogul Louis Walsh (Sony)
“And you’re in Australia for three weeks, no food, no sleep, people you don’t like. I can’t swim. I don’t like bugs, I don’t like spiders, I’d be totally out of my comfort zone. Totally!
“But then X Factor’s a bit of a jungle too. It’s a three month jungle as opposed to three weeks.”
The 2014 X Factor judges (Tom Dymond/Thames TV)
Louis was an X Factor judge from the show’s inception in 2004 until he was replaced for the 2015 series.
The Irish TV presenter, 63, who was in London to promote Sony BRAVIA TV’s YouView feature, said he had shared his thoughts on this year’s show with Simon.
Louis Walsh (Niall Carson/PA)
He said: “I talk to him all the time. I rang him after the first show and said: ‘You’ve ruined the show.’ I was ranting and raving at him.
“He wasn’t happy, but the following day he said: ‘You were right!’ But I think a lot of people are afraid to tell him the truth. I’m not.”
Louis added: “I think they’ve changed it far too much, because people love the old fashioned: in the room, people coming in, and just being honest about their lives. There was no big audience there roaring and shouting, it was just you and them.”
Louis Walsh (Dave Thompson/PA)
On whether he could make a return to the judging panel next year, Louis said: “I don’t know if I want to go back. I’ve done 11 years. I’d only want to go back if it was going to be fun.
“Fun! Fun and the old X Factor, when he [Cowell] was fun, and when we were all having a laugh but still caring about our job.”