Louis Walsh is tipping Robbie Williams to take his seat on The X Factor judging panel.
The 62-year-old music manager confirmed he will not be returning to the TV talent show in the autumn, but insisted he had left of his own choosing.
Louis said: “The truth is I’ve done it for 11 years, I never thought I would even be on TV for four or five. To get 10 was great, to get 11 was amazing, I’m not hanging around for them this year.
“I haven’t been sacked, I can honestly tell you that, but I’m not hanging around for them this year because I want to go back to being a manager. I’m basically going back to my roots, which is the reason I got into this business – music. I love music.
“But I wasn’t sacked, I haven’t been hired and I’m not hanging around.”
Louis revealed the person he would most like to see fill his seat would be pop star Robbie.
He said: “If I was to pick the perfect person it would be Robbie Williams, or maybe even Niall (Horan) from One Direction, put somebody else Irish in there.
“I heard Nick Grimshaw is there. That’s not a bad idea at all. He’s young, he’s big on the radio, he knows about pop music, he knows what young people like. I think he’s a good idea, I think he’s a bit different.”
Louis added: “There has to be chemistry with the four people there. X Factor needs to get four great people this year.
“I know Simon (Cowell) is in that chair, I know Cheryl (Fernandez-Versini) is in that chair. I don’t know who is in the other two chairs, but I”m not hanging round.”
The former Westlife manager, who is currently working with new Irish boyband Home Town insisted he and Simon were still on very good terms.
He said: “I love working with Simon. Meeting Simon Cowell literally changed my life all those years ago. We met in Dublin, and then we did Westlife together, and we did 12 years. I love him, everything about him…. maybe not crazy about the heels, but he’s funny, he’s different and we just work really well together.
“I talk to him an awful lot, we’re really good friends, that’s the truth. Nobody has been as loyal and as good to me as Simon.”
Louis has joined forces with O2 to celebrate their new and improved Big Bundles for Pay & Go customers. Fans can request a personalised confidence-boosting video message from him by tweeting @O2 using #BigMeUpLouisWalsh.
He said: “I am absolutely a positive person, the glass if always half full with me, it’s never half empty. Every day is a good day for me.
“I’m really happy with my life at the moment, I don’t think I’ve ever been this happy, to be honest. With my personal life, with my business life, with everything – I’m just happy.”