Louis always has X Factor, says pal Linda
Eyebrows may have been raised about Louis Walsh returning for an eleventh stint on the X Factor panel.
But panto queen Linda Martin has said that the talent show just wouldn't be the same without his inimitable talents.
"They couldn't do it without Louis, it's as simple as that. And I don't think Simon Cowell will ever find a sparring partner like him," she told the Diary.
"The one thing about Louis is that he doesn't have an ego. So he can take the jibes and he can take the fun and he knows that's what's going to happen. He knows that you have to appeal to families, and that they have to enjoy the programme.
"If Simon brought someone else in, he'd have a lot of hassle trying to tussle with them. So I don't think it would work without Louis."
She added how she "hopes" that he and his fellow judge Cheryl Cole will put their differences aside on the show.
"That would be nice. And I know he loves Mel B. He says she is absolutely adorable, really down to earth and gorgeous and a really, really nice person."
Linda will be treading the boards herself this Christmas as she takes on the role of Get Lucky in the Aladdin Christmas panto at the Olympia.
"This is my fifth year and I am all excited because Hometown are joining us," she continued.
"And that is going to be a huge change for all of us. I mean I know them pretty well at this stage because we went through the audition process, so they are looking forward to joining the cast and we are looking forward to having a lot of fun with them.
"I honestly think the kids are going to love them, I think we are going to do really well this year."
Linda said how she was there from the very start when the six-strong boyband first auditioned for Louis, and she has gotten to know them pretty well over the past few months.
"Voice wise they are absolutely incredible singers," Linda said.