Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

'ITV Didn't Want Me Back, but Simon Did' ; Effervescent Louis Walsh Gives Us the Lowdown as the Hit Talent Show Kicks off Again

Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

'ITV Didn't Want Me Back, but Simon Did' ; Effervescent Louis Walsh Gives Us the Lowdown as the Hit Talent Show Kicks off Again

Article excerpt

THE NEW LINE-UP: Louis, Mel, Cheryl and Simon THE X FACTOR Sat & Sun ITV 8pm New series The one thing we love about Louis Walsh, above all else, is his enthusiasm. He's always bubbly and full of energy and, as We Love TV chats to him about the return of The X Factor, he doesn't hold back from singing the praises of his pal Simon Cowell who is returning in this, the 11th series.

Cheryl Fernandez-Versini is also back after three years away, former Spice Girl Mel B becomes the fourth judge, while Louis, 62, is celebrating his 10th anniversary.

"It's the best show on television," he says, before settling in to tell us more about the new series and why it's going to surprise us all this year...

What's so great about the new X Factor? I'm excited because Simon is back. When he returns, he's always changing things. It won't be the same X Factor. It'll be new, and different. He makes us all work harder, basically.

Does the new judge line-up work? Yes. You may not think that it looks so exciting on paper, but it is when we're in the room together. It just works for some reason. The two girls get on really well, as do Simon and I because we have known each other for 15 years. There's great chemistry among us. What's Mel B like? She is absolutely amazing. I think she's going to be the surprise of this series. Mel just speaks her mind, she's blunt, honest and feisty, and reminds me a little bit of Sharon Osbourne. Will Sharon be back? Well, she's doing a show in LA every day called The BLASTS FROM Talk. I spoke to her recently, and we had a great chat. She's one of the few judges I'm in touch with.

How are you getting on with Cheryl? Amazingly well. She's definitely mellowed, is more chilled and she's in a much better place. She's like a different girl.

Have you met new hubby Jean-Bernard? I've met him loads of times. He's teaching me how to speak French. …

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