Cheryl Fernandez-Versini and Louis Walsh 'facing the X Factor axe'

The X Factor looks set for a serious shake-up. Following Dermot O'Leary's decision to quit the show, there are numerous reports that Cheryl Fernandez-Versini and Louis Walsh will be following him out the door.

Simon Cowell is apparently keen to revamp the programme after it lost out in the ratings battle with Strictly Come Dancing last series.


X Factor panel: Louis Walsh, Mel B, Cheryl Fernandez-Versini and Simon Cowell

Cheryl – who only rejoined the X Factor last year after a four year absence – could lose her place on the panel, with reports that Simon is already auditioning potential replacements. "Simon has seen people himself and it is now going to ITV and they are setting up meetings with his chosen women for a second interview," an insider told the Mail Online.

Louis Walsh is also said to be at risk. "Simon has accepted that Louis no longer has a job for life on The X Factor," a source told the Sun. "His place on the panel is not guaranteed. He's unlikely to stay because we are actively looking at new options for his role."

Reportedly in line to replace Louis is Robbie Williams – the "top choice" to take his seat. Robbie is no stranger to the X Factor, having appeared as a guest judge with Gary Barlow at the judges' houses.

But the insider added that Louis, who has been on the show since it first began, is the "great survivor of the X Factor" so nothing is set in stone.

Richard Holloway, the X Factor's executive producer, admitted earlier this month that there would be some big changes ahead of the next series, in a bid to improve viewing figures.

"We have been making the show for ten years and to make it popular you have to refresh the show," he said. "You need to look at every aspect and move with the times.

"There is an ongoing battle with Strictly. On overall volume they beat us last year. It has been a few years since we beat them on overall volume."