Axed X Factor judge Louis Walsh has been asked to return to the programme following the poor performance of his replacement, Brian Friedman, on the show.

In a dramatic twist usually reserved to cheer up disappointed contestants on the talent search show, Simon Cowell has been forced to call Walsh back and admit that he has made a mistake.

Friedman was drafted in alongside Dannii Minogue to increase the judging line-up from three to four, with Cowell and Sharon Osbourne keeping their places.

The American has reportedly run into difficulties during early auditions for the 2007 series of the show, with confusing British slang proving incomprehensible to him.

He has now stepped down to play a backstage role on the show, giving Cowell the chance to make up with old-time buddy Walsh.

The two hugged and made up when Walsh appeared on the US version of This Is Your Life for Cowell earlier this year.

Then the pair met up at the Ascot races earlier this year, the Sun reports, where they agreed they needed to get Walsh back on the show.

No such reprieve looks likely for presenter Kate Thornton, however, who appears to have been permanently put on the shelf in favour of new host Dermot O'Leary.

22/06/2007 12:16:32