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Louis back at work after beating the slurs -- and he couldn't look happier

VINDICATED Louis Walsh couldn't help but show off his delight as he returned to work on the X Factor.

The pop mogul (58) beamed as he braved the 5,000 strong crowd in Cardiff for the latest round of auditions.

And his fans honoured the long standing X Factor star by giving him a standing ovation when he walked in to begin his duties as a judge yesterday.

An emotional Louis announced: "I'm delighted. It is great to be here and get on with the show again.


"We are here to find a star, that's why we are here. That's what we do."

A string of celebrities came out to support the Mayo man as he battled false allegations of sexual assault, which were alleged to have happened in Krystle nightclub on April 10, including former judges Cheryl Cole, Sharon Osbourne and show boss Simon Cowell.

Cowell, who is no longer working for the UK show as he is putting all of his energy in the American version, said: "I am delighted for him. I never had any doubt that this was a load of rubbish. Louis is a good friend of mine and I think the world of him. I am so pleased that everyone now knows it is a load of rubbish as well.

"I am so pleased for him and I look forward to seeing him soon. I have spoken to him and I know he is very happy."

New judge Gary Barlow has also spoken of his support for his colleague, saying that the "right thing" was done in the end. The Westlife manager described the last week as a "very distressing", but was always determined to clear his name.


Meanwhile, Walsh revealed that he is still in touch with Cheryl Cole, who has just emerged from her six week exile with a brand new look.

The Girls Aloud singer (28) became famous for her long, brunette locks, and even came under fire for her use of hair extensions, is now sporting a blonde bob.

Although this isn't the first time she has gone blonde, when she married ex-husband Ashley Cole in 2006, her hair was considerably lighter, she became a household name on the X Factor as a stunning brunette.

Rumours were circulating yesterday that pictures of her new style were selling for more than €13,000.