He's been a firm favourite on the X Factor since it began in 2004, but now his time as judge could be over. Show producers are looking to make some big changes ahead of filming for the new series, which is due to get underway in the coming months. One of the big changes touted Sunday was the removal of Irish judge Louis Walsh.

The Daily Star Sunday claims that Louis will be dumped from the show by friend and show creator Simon Cowell. A source told the newspaper Simon is planning "major changes" for series twelve. If confirmed, it won't be the first time that Walsh has been axed.

In 2007, he was replaced by creative director Brian Friedman. However Friedman was dropped during the audition stages and Louis was re-instated.

The news comes days after X Factor presenter Dermot O'Leary announced he was leaving the show after eight years. It was claimed by The Sun newspaper that Cowell had axed O'Leary as part of the change, however X Factor producers deny this. O'Leary said that it was time for a change and thanked Simon Cowell, ITV and the team for the opportunity.

Walsh told the Mail on Sunday in October last year that series eleven was going to be his last as he has 'other work' outside of X Factor. The Irish music manager has been with the ITV reality show since it launched in 2004.

He's only won the competition once, back in 2005 with Shayne Ward. He came close in 2008 with boyband JLS, who came second against Alexandra Burke.

Simon Cowell is reported to be making a number of changes for the new series as the X Factor continues its ratings battle with BBC rival Strictly Come Dancing. The Beeb's dancing show has thrashed the ITV singing competition for a number of years, leaving Cowell frustrated.

Last year's final was watched by just 9.1 million viewers, the lowest since 2004.

It's widely reported that Olly Murs and Caroline Flack are to replace O'Leary as hosts. Olly and Caroline previously worked together on the Xtra Factor. Olly rose to fame on the X Factor and came second in 2009, beaten by Joe McElderry. X Factor have not confirmed any of the changes ahead of filming for the auditions, expected to begin in May.