In a statement to the press, the 65 year old acknowledged how much he had enjoyed working on the series: 'I’ve had a fantastic 13 years on The X Factor but the show needs a change and I’m ready to leave.'
Congratulating Louis on his semi-retirement, Thames Managing Director Amelia Brown also added that 'Louis has been a huge part of The X Factor’s success since it launched and remains a good friend of the show. His contribution cannot be overstated. We would like to thank him for all he has given to the show over the years and look forward to continuing to work with him in the future.'
Louis Walsh's departure is not the only change that will be made to the next series. Fellow judge Sharon Osbourne will also be taking on a different role, as whilst she will still be on the judging panel, she’ll only be present for the live shows.
Commenting on the changes, Sharon said: 'I can’t wait to get back to the judges’ desk. I love the new format.'
'This is the start of a new era for The X Factor. I am really excited about all the ideas we have for the coming series including, of course, the new judging panel.'
However, the win came after Walsh temporarily quit the show halfway through the series after several spats with his fellow judges. He had a particularly strained relationship with Osbourne, who ended up drenching him with a glass of water while they recorded an episode.
Louis was also notorious for favouring novelty acts, much to Simon Cowell's annoyance! As a result, Walsh has left the British public a musical legacy which includes the likes of Jedward, Wagner and Johnny Robinson. Err, thanks Louis!
The boyband veteran is also responsible for mentoring JLS, who went on to sell 10 million records worldwide following their appearance on the show.
Now the question turns to who will be next up on the judging panel. Rumour has it that Cowell will be returning to his role alongside three new judges who are expected to be named shortly.