Louis Walsh: I didn't know who new X Factor judge Tulisa was!

Louis Walsh 2011

X Factor veteran judge Louis Walsh has revealed he didn't have a clue who Tulisa was when she joined The X Factor panel this year! Speaking ahead of the launch on Saturday, Louis however added that he and the N-Dubz singer have hit it off - and he now feels like he's known here his whole life!

"The panel is working so well, there’s really good chemistry and energy between us all," Louis said.

"It’s really the most fun I’ve ever had filming the show and I think it’s going to be a great series. I’ve always been a huge fan of Gary’s so it’s great to work with him, Kelly is a revelation and so passionate, she is definitely competitive so she’ll be the one to watch in the live shows.

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"And I didn’t really know who Tulisa was before but now I feel like I have known her all my life, she’s so real and had an incredible life, I think she’ll be a huge asset to the panel."

The Irish music mogul also confessed to missing Simon Cowell, even if he didn't think the show needed him! "I do miss the fun with him because we are such good mates, even if I hate to admit it."

But Louis joked: "Although without him it means filming has started and finished on time!"

Meanwhile Louis, the only returning judge from last year's show, said that Glasgow and Cardiff had been surprisingly good this year during the auditions!

"Every city has delivered this year, Glasgow and Cardiff especially surprised us this year," he explained. "But it’s all down to what happens at Bootcamp as we need them to be versatile and you see a different side when they are given songs they’d never normally chose to sing."

And the Westlife manager said he didn't care which of this year's categories he was given: "I never get the category I like so I will take what is given and make the most of it."

The X Factor 2011 starts on August 20.

PIC: ITV / SYCO / TALKBACK THAMES

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