Louis Walsh has said he was sacked from 'The X Factor' because of ageism – saying it felt like a “public execution”.
Walsh, 58, was sensationally axed in a show shake-up at the same time as then presenter Kate Thornton but the judge was invited back in 2007.
He told Glamour magazine: “I was sacked – that’s the truth of it. And I was devastated. When I got the phone call I felt like I’d been run over by a train.
“I just wasn’t prepared for it. ITV wanted to make it younger, and so they axed me. It was like a public execution. It honestly was the worst thing that has ever happened to me.”
Asked if the decision was “pure ageism”, he said: “Yes, but luckily the people who sacked me are no longer there, and I am.”
'The X Factor' has been criticised for putting contestants on stage to be laughed at and for allowing troubled Shirlena Johnson to get to boot camp before she was dropped over her mental state.
Walsh admitted: “Some 10% of the people you get are talented, some are just OK and the rest are deluded.”
The Boyzone and Westlife creator said that fellow judge Simon Cowell was “touchy” about “his hair, and the fact he wears high (Cuban) heels.”
He said of the judge: “Underneath those flares, there are some serious heels going on.”
He added: “He’s always trying these facials and buys unbelievably expensive face creams from Harrods. Oh, and he has this hairdryer he carries around.”
Walsh said that Cowell told him he “had to have” surgery under his eyes when high definition came in.
But he said “the real pressures” over looks were on Dannii Minogue and Cheryl Cole.
“What I like is seeing the girls looking at one another thinking, ’Where did she get that dress? Why didn’t I get that dress?’ And, ’Who did her hair?’
“They are always kissing each other and complimenting each other but really it’s a mixture between a catwalk and a catfight. Simon and me are the two ugly bookends,” he said.
Walsh had a dig at Robbie Williams and Lady Gaga.
He said of Williams: “I once said that he was a karaoke singer and he took offence at that.
“The problem with all these people is that they get successful and rich and then they start to crave one thing: credibility. And nobody around them will tell them that they’re not fabulous, just lucky.”
He said that Lady Gaga was more famous for her hats than her songs and that she would “burn out”.