Saturday 24 August 2019

'I don't need them - they don't pay me enough' - Louis Walsh brands Irish TV 'local telly' as Ireland's Got Talent axed

Louis returns to X Factor this year

Louis Walsh on Ireland's Got Talent on Virgin Media One
Louis Walsh on Ireland's Got Talent on Virgin Media One

Eugene Masterson

POP supremo Louis Walsh has branded Irish TV as "local telly" and asked why he should do it when he's on The X Factor.

"I don 't need them - they don't pay me enough," he said in the wake of Ireland's Got Talent being axed.

He said he did not depend on Irish television stations.

"I don't like the way they do business, and they don't f**king pay," he said.

Ireland's Got Talent presenter Lucy Kennedy with judges Jason Byrne, Denise Van Outen, Michele Visage and Louis Walsh
Ireland's Got Talent presenter Lucy Kennedy with judges Jason Byrne, Denise Van Outen, Michele Visage and Louis Walsh

Louis (67) is back on The X Factor later this year for two versions, a celebrity one and another format involving all-stars from previous shows.

It is the third time he has been asked back to the talent series created by Simon Cowell and will pocket ¤1m (€1,074,000).

Louis Walsh
Louis Walsh

This is compared to the rumoured ¤150,000 fee each season he got for Ireland's Got Talent (IGT) for its two series.

"We had great fun doing it, but I would never depend on them, ever, for anything," he said.

"They don't pay. They treat people really badly and it's local telly. Why would I do local telly when I can do X Factor?"

Louis's fellow IGT judge Michelle Visage has been signed up to do the forthcoming series of Strictly Come Dancing, but the Co Mayo man said while he will not go to see the American in action, he will be supporting her.

"Michelle will be great for Strictly, nobody will work harder - she's great," he said.

It was Louis who persuaded producers of IGT to hire Michelle, having become a fan of hers on RuPaul's Drag Show.

"Listen I'm going to be on X Factor, she's going to be on Strictly - it's perfect, it's a perfect solution," he said.

"We were never dependent on waiting on TV3 [Virgin Media] for that show.

"We had already taken these jobs. We were offered these jobs and we took them.

"We were never waiting on TV3. I will never be dependent on Irish TV for anything in my life.

"I've got too much work over here in the UK. I've been offered every single show at the moment, literally every show every day."

He said he wouldn't go to see Visage and was an "ITV person".

"I think she is going to do really well. People are going to like her, people are going to get to know her," he said.

Read more: Confirmed: Third series of 'Ireland's Got Talent' axed by Virgin Media Television

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