Louis Walsh backs the singer to join the show as the final judge

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X Factor judge Louis Walsh has tipped Ellie Goulding to join the show as the final judge in the line-up.

Walsh, who has been in all 10 series of the ITV talent show, will return for the 11th series alongside a returning Simon Cowell and Cheryl Cole. Speaking to The Sun, Walsh said he thinks Ellie Goulding would be a good addition to the current line-up.

He said: “I’ve heard Ellie Goulding. I just hope it’s a girl.”

Simon Cowell announced his return to the UK version of the show last month, after the US version was axed. “I am so happy that Cheryl has agreed to join The X Factor again,” he said. “The last time we worked together in the UK was incredible and produced some really successful artists. Obviously the plan is to do the same again… so it’s back to work!”

As BBC news reports, ITV – which recently signed a £150m three-year deal with the show’s creator Cowell – will be hoping the duo’s return will boost ratings after last year’s series attracted some of the lowest audiences in the show’s history.

Some 11.5 million people tuned in to watch Sam Bailey’s win in December 2013, down from 17.7 million during Cole’s last appearance in 2010.

Cole originally left the show in 2011 to join the US X Factor. Although she was signed to film two series, she was dropped after filming one episode, with US media reporting that the show’s producers were concerned that American audiences would not be able to understand her accent. She later received an undisclosed payout from the producers of the show who she had sued for $2.3m (£1.4m) in lost earnings.

The 11th series of the UK X Factor will air this autumn, with open auditions taking place from April.