X Factor star Louis Walsh has dismissed Sharon Osbourne’s claims she is planning to retire, saying “she is like Frank Sinatra”.
The TV star recently said she is planning on leaving the limelight in five years’ time to coincide with her 50th year in the entertainment industry but Walsh said he does not believe it.
Arriving at the launch of the 14th series of the singing competition, he told the Press Association: “Sharon said she is going to retire, she’s never going to retire, she’s like Frank Sinatra.
“This is like her first time announcing her retirement, she’s never going to give up, she loves working.”
Walsh will return to the X Factor judging panel alongside Osbourne, Simon Cowell and Nicole Scherzinger when the new series starts on Saturday with an altered format.
Contestants will be encouraged to sing original songs and the number of live shows will be reduced and Walsh said: “Simon has made a few tweaks because it doesn’t want it to be predictable, it’s a different show and a fresh show. Anything can happen.
“There are still going to be a lot of live shows and there is still going to be great talent, it is still going to be the best show on TV.
He added: “There are a few people who want to sing their own songs and we are letting them, they are taking a chance because it has to be a great original song but we want to encourage all kinds of artists to come forward and do the show, it’s all about finding new talent.”
Scherzinger added: “I’m excited artists are going to be singing more original music because as an artist that inspires me and really moves me.
“There has been a handful of people that are very special but one in particular, a girl, that when I saw her, reminded me in her own way of when I saw James Arthur for the first time.”
She added: “The show has been on for so many years I hope we are changing and evolving or what are we doing, we have to keep people engaged and excited and us engaged and excited as the judges and the producers, it’s always good to switch things up.”
There have been reports there will be fewer novelty acts in the new series but Walsh said: “I like the personality acts. You need a good balance, you need talent, you need personality, you need a few crazy people.”
Walsh added he is unconcerned by the annual ratings battle with Strictly Come Dancing, which has seen the BBC show prevail in recent years.
He said: “I don’t care about the ratings, I just know we have to make the best show possible, I think Strictly is going to be great, I think X Factor is going to be great, the viewers are going to have two great shows to watch.”