Dermot O’Leary: Tulisa deserves her place as a judge

The X Factor host gives RT his verdict on the new panel

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Many have speculated over the appointment of the new X Factor judges, and none have come under more scrutiny than 23-year-old Tulisa Contostavlos (above, right).

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But who better to get an inside opinion from than the show’s host, Dermot O’Leary?

On Tulisa, who is best known as one third of pop hip-hop group N-Dubz, he says, “A lot of viewers won’t know N-Dubz, but Tulisa has been in the industry since she was 11 and has sold millions of records. She knows what she’s talking about, she’s honest and can be feisty, so deserves her place.”

The presenter also gives his verdict on Destiny’s Child member Kelly Rowland (above, left) – “She has this beautiful, honey-dipped Texan accent”, Take That’s Gary Barlow – “He’s a bit of a national treasure”, and original X Factor judge Louis Walsh, who is for the first time without Simon Cowell on the panel – “It’s like someone has taken the dog off the lead.”

Read Dermot’s backstage X Factor diary and more on what he thinks of the panel in the brand-new issue of Radio Times, out today.

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Series eight of The X Factor begins Saturday 20 August at 8pm.