| 7.4°C Dublin

Louis is on hand as Roberta aims for pop stardom

FORMER X Factor contestant Roberta Howett has revealed how her former mentor on the ITV show, Sharon Osbourne, has persuaded Louis Walsh to take her under his wing.

Fans of the reality show may remember how the Mayo media mogul decided to vote the Dublin singer out of the live shows in 2004.

However, six years on, Roberta (27) says that she and Louis have buried the hatchet and now meet up regularly to catch up, with the star even offering her advice on how best to launch her solo career.

In fact, the man responsible for launching Boyzone, Westlife and most recently Jedward into the limelight, introduced Roberta to Ronan Keating and Sharon Corr, both of whom she has worked with as a backing singer in the past year.

"Myself and Sharon Osbourne were initially very close for the first couple of years, but obviously she's based in the States now so it's harder to stay in touch," she told the Diary.

"She did tell Louis to look after me. He's been very good. I'm actually releasing my new single independently, without any record company behind me so it's great to have support from someone like him."

Roberta was keen to quash rumours that she has struck up a romance with Sharon Corr's brother Jim, however, insisting that the pair are merely close friends.

The blonde launched her single, Beautiful Lies, at a special event at Odessa nightclub last night in front of 200 guests.