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X Factor's Louis Walsh tips Alexandra Burke and Aston Merrygold to do well on Strictly

ITV show's judge backs its former contestants in their new reality TV battle

Strictly Come Dancing 2017 contestants Alexandra Burke and Aston Merrygold

Louis Walsh has spoken about Strictly Come Dancing after it signed former X Factor stars for its new series.

Both Alexandra Burke and Aston Merrygold have been confirmed for the new Strictly Come Dancing line up.

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The talent contests have long been rivals, although Strictly now has the upper hand after The X Factor's ratings crash.

However, this year the BBC show has turned to its ITV nemesis for contestants, hiring Alexandra and Aston.

The move has created a fresh reality TV battle between the pair, after Alexandra beat Aston's boyband JLS to win The X Factor in 2008.

Speaking yesterday, Louis wished luck to both of them, saying: "Listen, they're great dancers. I think they will do really, really well, both of them."

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Saying there was "room for two shows", the Irishman suggested Strictly's signings proved X Factor's legacy of producing talent.

"That's the thing about The X Factor - it churns out stars all the time," he said. "I think both of them will be really brilliant.

"X Factor is the most talked about show, and it's watched worldwide. We've had an awful lot of people come from around the world."

Louis was talking to the Mirror and Huffpost at a press launch for the new series of The X Factor.

Major changes this year include fewer live shows, and bosses encouraging contestants to perform original material - while the judges say they're being more "blatantly honest".

The show's fourteenth outing begins this Saturday and Sunday at 8.00pm on ITV.

Meanwhile, Strictly is back on BBC One on Saturday 9th September at 7pm with its spectacular launch special.