LOUIS Walsh was left stunned after being axed as an X Factor judge for the THIRD time, just days before filming for the new series began.
It was announced this week that Simon Cowell and Nicole Scherzinger would be the only judges on new show X Factor: The Band.
Just two weeks ago, the Irish impresario told me he expected to be on the panel alongside his two co-stars.
But Simon opted last week to leave him out.
Show sources said Louis was offered a backstage role advising Simon and Nicole. But he turned it down fearing he would be at a loose end on the series, which airs over a single week starting on December 9.
A source said: “Louis had a fantastic time on X Factor: Celebrity and was confident he would be back for The Band.
“He obviously has a lot of experience working with bands such as Westlife.
“But Simon had other ideas. He felt it would make more sense to have him mentoring the boys and Nicole looking after the girls. Louis was offered a role as an adviser.
“But it soon became clear there was no real job, so he turned the offer down.”
An X Factor source last night insisted the format allowed for only two judges. They added: “Louis respects the producers’ decision and knows they do what is best for the show. There is certainly no bad blood or fallout.”
Simon pitched The Band in competition to Little Mix’s hunt for fresh talent on BBC1’s The Search.
This week he upped the ante by sniping at former X Factor winners Jade Thirlwall, Leigh-Anne Pinnock, Perrie Edwards and Jesy Nelson during The Band’s auditions.
Sending home one group, Simon told them: “Little Mix are doing a show next year. Apply. Tell them I sent you.”
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Si man Fry-day
The family enjoyed the rides and stalls in London’s Hyde Park – and Simon won a cuddly toy for Eric, five, in a darts game. An onlooker said: “Simon looked relaxed. He was chatting to people and stallholders and seemed very down to earth.”
Simon Cowell, his partner Lauren and their son Eric tuck into some chips[/caption]
Simon then won a cuddly toy for Eric, five, in a darts game[/caption]
Legs hear it for the girls
NICOLE Scherzinger and her fellow Pussycat Dolls shocked viewers as they took to the stage in racy outfits on the X Factor: Celebrity final last night.
Their first live performance in ten years was a delight for many fans but others took to social media later questioning whether the band’s skimpy PVC look was suitable for a family show.
Meanwhile, Simon arrived for the final with a nasty gash on his head, which he said he got walking into a door.
Looks like his chips were down, unlike on his family night out, in our story.
Doctor’s Little Soldiers
JODIE Whittaker has teamed up with charity Scotty’s Little Soldiers – which supports children of those who have died while serving in the Armed Forces – to urge people to wear a bobble hat on Wednesday in a bid to raise money.
Doctor Who actress Jodie, said last night: “Scotty’s Little Soldiers is an amazing charity. Bobble Hat Day is a chance to show your support for these children.”
To take part, wear a bobble hat and text “BOBBLEHATDAY” to 70085 to donate £3.
Keira: 'Pirates fame was harsh'
KEIRA Knightley says finding fame in the Pirates Of The Caribbean movies was “a harsh experience”.
She said: “Many people have a tricky time at the end of their teenage years and beginning of their twenties. It was amplified because I was famous.”
New Gav duet is overdue
TWO favourites from hit comedy Gavin & Stacey will share another festive singalong in a special airing on Christmas Day.
Mathew Horne’s Gavin and James Corden as Smithy sang a duet of Band Aid’s Do They Know It’s Christmas? for the show’s 2008 seasonal special.
In this year’s long-awaited reunion, they belt out Elton John’s Step Into Christmas along with Gavin’s parents Mick and Pam.
Fans were given a taste of what to expect in a trailer released yesterday.
While the Shipman family get into the spirit, Uncle Bryn (Rob Brydon) has a meltdown over dinner.
I can’t wait to see what’s occurring come December 25.
Cap in demand on dating apps
LEWIS Capaldi is leaving no stone unturned in his search for romance.
So good on him for covering all bases while, er, getting to no bases.
Lewis opened up about his “non-existent” sex life to my sister column last month, saying the furthest he tends to get with a girl is “kissing and a beer”.
He admits his Tinder profile overwhelmed him after he ran a contest with the app to fly two people to New York to meet him.
Lewis, who has more than 1,000 people queuing to date him, said: “It’s not because they want to date me, it’s because they can get a free flight to New York. It’s become too much and there are too many. I can’t swipe enough.”
Hopefully Raya is less chaotic.
Bond in ‘a hole’ pre Flea
The actor, who invited Fleabag’s creator to work on the project, admitted the team were a bit stuck before she saved the day.
He said: “Phoebe is a wonderful writer. We were lucky. We were in a bit of a hole, as one normally is when writing a big movie.
“I’ve been a fan of hers for ages. I said, ‘What about Phoebe? Ask her!’ And she said yes.”
The addition of Phoebe to the franchise at first sparked speculation that notorious ladies’ man 007 could be set for a feminist makeover. It has since emerged she was responsible for adding MORE innuendo to the script, including one joke about Bond’s ability to raise a gearstick.
Producer Barbara Broccoli insisted the film could not ignore the #MeToo movement, saying: “Bond has always adapted.”
Daniel added: “That’s one of the reasons Bond has survived for so long: It has adapted.
“It’s not the original novels. It’s something else. I wanted to put a reality into it. I wanted to make sure every step of the way people felt something. Being respectful of women is a no-brainer. It’s a given.”
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Kate’s Beck in action
CAN we all just stop and take a minute to appreciate that Kate Beckinsale is 46?
The stunning Hollywood actress sizzles in a black bikini in this incredible age-defying snap, above – while also balancing on a sky-high pair of stilettos.
The Instagram photo was captioned “Out of Office”, despite the fact Kate appeared to be in an office.
But thankfully she soon found a more appropriate setting, posing in a new black and white two-piece on a beach with palm tree in the background.
If I look like her when I’m the same age, I will be a very, very happy woman.
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