Simon Cowell has defended new X Factor judge Ayda Williams’ lack of musical experience.
Ayda has joined this year’s show alongside Robbie Williams and One Direction’s Louis Tomlinson.
The trio will sit on the panel alongside Simon when the new series begins this Saturday night at 8PM on ITV.
But while there’s no doubting Louis or Robbie’s music credentials, there’s been criticism over actress Ayda joining the show.
However, Simon insisted: “I can name you on one hand the good managers I know, you don’t have to be a music manager or an artist to be on this show. You have to have taste, good instincts, you have got to like people.
“The irony is that the public actually judge this competition. Ayda has seen the music business from a different point of view so she brings a different perspective to the panel. I think she’s amazing.”
Ayda herself said of her credentials: “I know that I’ve helped Rob for 12 years now, I’ve had to pick him up off the ground and lift him up. I’ve been part of every song choice for like five albums, every creative for his live shows, his tours, music videos – I feel like I’ve had enough experience with his career and my own career to make a difference with these contestants.
“I think I have very strong instincts and Rob trusts those instincts. I’m very passionate. With Rob, I think I’m also not afraid to tell him when I don’t like something. He’s in a position where a lot of people could tell him they like something even if they don’t. I am always incredibly straight forward, I say it with compassion but I stick to my word and carry it through.”
Meanwhile, Robbie says he’s looking forward to viewers seeing him and Ayda together on TV.
He said: “I know what my wife is capable of. I know what we’re capable of together so we’ve just been waiting for the right vehicle to go, ‘Check out the Williams!’ I think it will be interesting for people to see us together in that way.”
The X Factor returns Saturday 1 and Sunday 2 September at 8PM on ITV.