Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 21 October 2014

Gallagher makes X Factor age plea

Noel Gallagher has entered the debate on the age of X Factor contestants

Noel Gallagher has said the lower age limit for X Factor contestants should be raised because 16-year-olds are too young to cope with the rejection - and fame.

The former Oasis star - who turned down a role on the show's judging panel - said contestants should be at least 18.

His comments come after viewers saw sobbing Amelia Lily, 16, axed from a live edition of the show on Sunday night.

There has already been criticism of the show in recent weeks for featuring such young hopefuls, with one children's charity boss calling for the age to be raised and even judge Gary Barlow saying 16 was too young.

Noel, who is a fan of the show, aired his views during a guest presenter slot on Absolute Radio's breakfast show, saying: "When you see the kids crying on there that's quite difficult. When they say things like 'Oh, you're great but you're too young' - well, don't put her through in the first place then, do you know what I mean?

"They shouldn't put a 16-year-old on that show."

He continued: "Well I think it should be at least 18, because what would happen, conceivably, if the public voted a 16-year-old into pop stardom? I mean, you know."

Noel, whose comments come as a team of academics who researched the hit talent show concluded that it uses the "cruelty of rejection" to appeal to audiences, said he got wound up by judge Louis Walsh claiming that he knew him.

The musician told Absolute Radio host Christian O'Connell: "I remember one of his acts once years ago did like an opera version of Don't Look Back In Anger.

"Simon Cowell was slating it, and (Walsh) said 'Simon, I know the Gallagher brothers and I know they would have loved that'. And I was sat at the telly going 'I've never even met you, you idiot' - and I hate it, you know."

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