Eurovision Donna's got the X Factor, says TV pal Jennifer

Lorna Nolan

TV PRESENTER Jennifer Maguire is throwing her weight behind her former Failte Towers co-star Donna McCaul when it comes to the forthcoming series of ITV's The X Factor.

The Diary can reveal that Donna, who represented Ireland in the Eurovision Song Contest alongside her brother Joe in 2005, has been shortlisted to perform in front of judges Louis Walsh, Cheryl Cole and Simon Cowell this summer, after auditioning at Croke Park last weekend.

And Jennifer, who became friendly with the You're a Star winner while appearing on the RTE reality series Failte Towers in August 2008, believes that her pal has what it takes to go all the way and do us proud.

"I'm delighted for Donna," she told the Diary. "I think she's definitely going to do well if she makes it into the boot camp. She's a great singer and deserves an opportunity like this."

The Dublin beauty (29) was disappointed that she couldn't cover the auditions for hit RTE comedy series Republic of Telly, explaining that she and presenter Niall Delamare are still waiting on news of it being re-commissioned next autumn.

Jennifer, who is a showbiz reporter on the show, hit the headlines last month when she approached Ryanair boss, Michael O'Leary in the parade ring at the Punchestown horseracing festival.

After bringing up the subject of Iceland's volcano, she left the controversial airline chief speechless, by asking: "What's it like being the biggest pr**k in Ireland?"

"I'm still getting taxi men congratulating me on that," she laughed. "I get into a cab and they're like 'fair play, he needed to be told'.

"I don't think Michael was too annoyed. He took it in jest.

"We haven't heard anything about another series yet but I'm keeping my fingers crossed we'll be back. I love being bold on it. I can get away with murder."

The chatty brunette admits she was not feeling brave enough to risk flying Ryanair last week however, when she jetted off to Marbella for a week in the sun alongside her Italian boyfriend of four years, Lau Zamparelli.

The couple first met through a theatre company that Jennifer set up in Bristol.

"I'm still loved up. It's been four years now, so we're very happy. We don't have any plans to marry though. We're too cool for that," she said.

"Some people say their too young for marriage but I'm too old for that now. I'm going to start a new trend and say I'm too cool."

Lau will join his other half next Saturday night at the much anticipated Walkers TV Now Awards at the Mansion House in Dublin, before jet-setting beauty salon owner Jennifer heads to New York next week.