Louis Walsh has revealed he was all set to take part in the latest series of I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here – until Simon Cowell stepped in.
X Factor mogul Simon convinced the Irish music manager to not take part, saying it wouldn’t be good for his “credibility”, the Mirror reports.
Louis, who would have joined the likes of Jorgie Porter, Chris Eubank and Lady Colin Campbell, 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.
“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.”
Walsh was an X Factor judge from the show’s inception in 2004 until he was replaced for the 2015 series. The TV presenter, 63, said he had shared his thoughts on this year’s show with Cowell.
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.”
He 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.”
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 and the old X Factor, when he [Cowell] was fun, and when we were all having a laugh but still caring about our job.”