Simon Cowell: Louis Walsh is the UK's most popular person
Simon Cowell thinks Louis Walsh is the "most popular person" in the UK.
The 56-year-old music mogul has asked Louis, 63, to return as a judge on 'The X Factor', having originally been overlooked for the current series - and Simon says the reaction of the public has boosted Louis' ego.
He said: "I spoke to Louis and I said, 'I don't know what has happened but you are suddenly the most popular person in the country'. And he said, 'I don't know'.
"I can't explain it. I think people obviously miss him. For Louis' sake it has been good for him not being on the show and seeing how much people like him."
However, Simon also admitted the judging panel had become a bit stale and that a shake-up was needed in order to breathe new life into the show.
He said: "I think it also woke him up a bit. He was the first to say - and me as well - that I don't think we were totally on top of our game.
"If he gets the chance to do another show like this I think he will be a lot more confident."