Universally known as a bit of a tit, I resolved to bring an open mind to my meeting with Louis Walsh. Only six weeks after his well-publicised brain implant, he agreed to meet for lunch at his favourite greasy spoon in one of Dublin's murkiest back streets. ('I like to keep it real,' he told me inscrutably.)
Louis flounced in, 40 minutes late, wearing a rather fetching two-tone green tank top and skinny jeans. Not a good look for a middle-aged man with a substantial amount of localised flab. He greeted me with a handshake so limp that I thought he was passing me a wet fish.
I disregarded this unpleasantry with some difficulty as we proceeded to order coffees. (Mine a double shot espresso, his a creamy double almond-infused long skinny cappuccino with chocolate shavings.) I downed the espresso in one and ordered a stiff whisky chaser, sensing psychological hurdles ahead of me.
You're looking well after such traumatic surgery. How are you feeling?
You know, it's amazing. One minute I'm lying on a hospital bed, completely gormless, the next I'm sitting up reading Hello magazine and actually understanding the words! The medical staff were absolutely superb. They prepared me for the whole surgery thing, talking to me for three or four hours beforehand. I still couldn't grasp it, so the Senior Consultant said "Oh sod it, let's just get started" and I entirely understand that. Before the brain implant, my P.A. had to invent my signature because I couldn't actually write!
God, the difference is amazing. Having a small brain is even better than I could have imagined. The medics ran some tests on me. My I.Q. has gone up 20 points to 97.5. It's awesome! Honestly the sky's the limit for me now. I'm in the process of having my lawyers draw up a takeover bid for Syco Enterprises, and that's just the beginning. By the end of 2013, I'll have a whole new stable of successful boy bands and Simon can stick that up his backside.
Am I sensing just a tiny bit of professional jealousy?
He's taunted me for years about me having no brain but he wanted me on the X Factor panel didn't he? It was years later when Cheryl told me that it was because I was brainless that I got the job. Oh my God, that got to me. OK so I didn't have a brain but I had a heart! That's something Simon just can't understand. And he can't have a heart transplant, can he, until the medical profession works out how to do that. Yes I admit I've got something to prove. Believe me, I've got some amazing ideas. All I'm saying at this stage is that with my new charisma and dynamic personality, Simon had better watch his back.
(Charisma and dynamic personality? Had I missed something?)
Have you seen Simon since the brain implant?
He Skyped me yesterday actually. The first thing he said was: "Darling you look just the same!" I said: "Don't get me started you jumped up little arsehole we'll soon see who's top banana in the music business now what with my brain and everything you're going to see me in the press on a regular basis with all the hot names in pop and soon you'll be a big fat nobody."
Just a hint of resentment then. Simon has axed you from Syco. How do you feel about that?
I'm not surprised. Anything is a PR opportunity for Simon. In private, he's always saying things like: "I wish I was more like you, Louis" and "You're the greatest, Louis." He's actually a bit of a wuss.
Aside from the music business, how has the implant affected your life generally?
You see, you have to understand that the music business is my life. I breathe, eat and sleep the music business. I don't have blood in my veins, I have music. That's how musical I am. So when you say "life generally", I've no idea what that means! Isn't that wild!
Your consultant has said that rejection of the implant is a possibility. Does this worry you?
Look. It's been a blast. If it's here today, gone tomorrow, then c'est la viande, or whatever. A brain is amazing, but it's not the end of the world, you know. I'm an easygoing kind of guy. If the implant gets rejected, then I'll go back to X-Factor with my head held high. My fans love me to bits - brain or no brain.
Sadly, only three days after this interview, Louis Walsh's brain implant was rejected by his autonomous nervous system and had to be removed by a team of surgeons.
Louis generously gave prior consent for the publication of this interview in the event of this outcome.