Olly Murs tipped to replace Louis on X Factor panel

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It’s one of life’s biggest mysteries, not ‘who is Jack the Ripper?’ or ‘who killed Tupac and Biggie?’, but ‘what is the point of Louis Walsh on the X Factor?’.

The jovial Irishman’s biggest claim to fame is that he managed Boyzone and Westlife in their heyday but other than uttering “I want everyone in – insert generic town name here – to pick up the phone and vote for you” or “you made that song your own” every flipping week he seems to bring little to the table as a judge.

As such, speculation is rising that Walsh – the only judge to have served on every series of the UK version of the show – will bow out at the end of the current run.

Simon Cowell, Cheryl Fernandez-Visini and Mel B are all odds-on to return in 2015 – at 1/6, 1/5 and 1/5 respectively – but former contestant Olly Murs is leading the chase to make up the fab four.

Murs, who has scored a string of UK hits since coming second on the 2009 run of the show, has been chalked up at 4/1 to be a 2015 judge, making him the hot favourite to replace the man who thought Jedward, Wagner and Blonde Electra were credible contestant choices.

Jessica Bridge of Ladbrokes said: “We reckon Louis is staying put but punters’ cash is saying otherwise and they want to see Olly rise from being a contestant to a judge.”

The early market shows that former judges are also being tipped for a comeback, with Nicole “that’s schermazeballs” Scherzinger, Gary “absolutely fantastic” Barlow, and Tulisa “the female boss” Contostavlos all individually priced at 7/1 and the outspoken Sharon Osbourne available at 12/1.

The chances of the X Factor picking up some defectors from BBC rival The Voice are rated as slim, with Kylie Minogue and Jessie J both priced at 20/1.

Other names on the list include Robbie Williams, Emma Bunton, Rihanna and, bizarrely David Beckham, but at this point it’s Murs that has punters in a frenzy.

To be a judge on X Factor in 2015:

Simon Cowell 1/6
Cheryl Fernandez-Versini 1/5
Mel B 1/5
Louis Walsh  4/6
Olly Murs 4/1
Nicole Scherzinger 7/1
Gary Barlow 7/1
Tulisa Constavolos 7/1
Sharon Osbourne 12/1

Robbie Williams 12/1
Katy Perry 14/1
Ellie Goulding 14/1
Emma Bunton 14/1
Pixie Lott 16/1
Kylie Minogue 20/1
Rihanna 20/1
Jessie J 20/1
Demi Lovato 25/1
Danni Minogue 25/1
Katie Price 25/1
Britney Spears 25/1
Geri Halliwell 33/1

David Beckham 33/1

50/1 bar

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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James Curtis

After studying for a degree in journalism and gaining his NCTJ, James contributed to a wide range of papers, online publications and broadcasters including the South London Press, Press Association and Sky Sports News before joining the Ladbrokes News team.