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The Sun 'unreservedly apologises' to Louis Walsh

An apology addressed to Louis Walsh was read out on behalf of News Group Newspapers to the High Court in Dublin:

The Sun published an article in its editions of 23 June 2011, in which we reported that Louis Walsh was being investigated in relation to a sexual assault on Leonard Watters.

In fact it transpired that Leonard Watters had made a false statement to An Garda Siochana, and he has since been convicted in relation to this matter.

The Sun fully accepts that the alleged assault did not occur in the first place and Louis Walsh is entirely innocent of any such assault.

The Sun unreservedly apologises to Louis Walsh for any distress caused to him as a result of our article.

– News Group Newspapers statement

Louis Walsh wins damages over false 'sex attack' story

X Factor judge Louis Walsh (centre) on his way into court with his legal team solicitor Paul Tweed (right) and Gavin Bonner (left) Credit: Julien Behal/PA Wire

Louis Walsh won a defamation case against The Sun over a story last year based on a false allegation that he sexually assaulted a man in a Dublin night-spot.

Walsh took legal action against the publisher for damages over the article published on 23 June 2011 with the headline "Louis Probed Over 'Sex Attack' on Man in Loo".

The man who made the allegation - an unemployed dance teacher called Leonard Watters - was jailed for six months in July for wrongly accusing Walsh of groping him after a Westlife concert in April 2011.


X Factor exec denies fix after Carolynne exit

The X Factor executive seen whispering in judge Louis Walsh's ear before singer Carolynne Poole's controversial exit has denied that the show is a fix.

Producer Richard Holloway was seen talking to Walsh just before the judges delivered their verdict on the ITV1 show which saw Louis force a deadlock.

Viewers accused the show of being a fix when the Irish judge initially appeared to save Poole, before backing eccentric singer Rylan Clark.

Country singer Carolynne Poole became the first to be booted off this season's X Factor
Country singer Carolynne Poole became the first to be booted off this season's X Factor Credit: Facebook/The X Factor

"We regularly chat to the judges during the show - they don't wear earpieces like (host) Dermot (O'Leary) so we have to speak to them throughout the programme, on anything from timings to running order changes," he said.

"On Sunday night I was telling Louis the order the judges would vote in and that he would be last."


Louis Walsh makes dig at Strictly ahead of ratings war

X Factor judge Louis Walsh has opened up hostilities with Strictly Come Dancing once more by branding the rival show a "warm-up act" for his programme.

The programmes will embark on a ratings war from tomorrow as they prepare to stage their live heats each Saturday, both hoping to grab the bigger audience.

X Factor judge Louis Walsh. Credit: Press Association

But Walsh was dismissive of the BBC1 dance contest - which begins earlier than X Factor - and made barbed comments about its 84-year-old host Sir Bruce Forsyth.

"Strictly is like a warm-up act for the X Factor, with a very old frontman," Walsh said today.

The two shows have long been in a battle for viewers. The two programmes do not directly compete tomorrow night with Strictly finishing 15 minutes before The X Factor begins airing at 8pm.

However the two shows will have a five minute overlap on the following Saturday.

Louis Walsh returns to The X Factor

Louis Walsh
Louis Walsh Credit: Reuters

Louis Walsh is coming back to The X Factor judging panel after show bosses confirmed his return. The Irish music manager will join Gary Barlow as a judge on the ITV1 talent show when it returns this year. N-Dubz star Tulisa Contostavlos is also expected to return

According to reports former judge Dannii Minogue is to take the place of Kelly Rowland. Walsh said: "I'm back. It's my ninth year on the show and as the only remaining original judge I'm delighted to take my seat once more on the judging panel."

Show supremo Simon Cowell said: "The show wouldn't be the same without Louis, I am really happy he is coming back. I hope he has an opportunity this year to show what an astute manager he is." ITV's director of television Peter Fincham said Walsh was "an X Factor institution".

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