Ferguson saddened by Walsh's exit
Former X Factor finalist Rebecca Ferguson has spoken of her sadness at Louis Walsh's departure from the reality show.
The singer-songwriter, 28, who finished as runner up to Matt Cardle in 2010, spoke after the Irish judge confirmed he was quitting after more than a decade in one of the hottest seats in showbiz.
Speaking ahead of a performance at the Fragrance Foundation Awards in London, Liverpudlian Ferguson said: "I love Louis, I am such a fan of Louis Walsh. I'd like to see him stay, I love watching him, he has got a big smile, he brightens up the television. And he is such a genuine lovely person, backstage he is the same person he is on stage.
"You have got to have Louis so I will be very sad if he's going."
Walsh, 62, confirmed his departure yesterday. BBC Radio 1 DJ Nick Grimshaw is the favourite to replace him.
The music manager said Grimshaw was a "not bad" choice but he would like to see his seat go to Robbie Williams or even a fellow Irishman, One Direction's Niall Horan.
Walsh said yesterday: "The truth is I've done it for 11 years, I never thought I would even be on TV for four or five. To get 10 was great, to get 11 was amazing, I'm not hanging around for them this year.
"I haven't been sacked, I can honestly tell you that, but I'm not hanging around for them this year because I want to go back to being a manager. I'm basically going back to my roots, which is the reason I got into this business - music. I love music.
"But I wasn't sacked, I haven't been hired and I'm not hanging around."