Fleur East backs Louis Tomlinson for X Factor judging role

“Who better than someone who has actually been through the same experience?” says the former runner-up

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Fleur East is backing Louis Tomlinson for a spot on this year’s X Factor judging panel.

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The Sax singer, who was a runner-up on the show’s eleventh series in 2014, says the One Direction band mate is the right person to be dishing out advice because he’s been there, done that, got the very expensive, very successful, very global t-shirt.

“Who better than someone who has actually been through the same experience, than him? I know so many contestants can’t wait to hear his advice,” Fleur told Bang Showbiz. “I would have loved to have heard his advice before I went on the show.”

Fleur admits he’s seemed keen on the job for a while, saying Tomlinson looked to be learning the ropes backstage when she was a contestant.

“He was actually in a lot of my tech rehearsals with Simon when I was on the show, so I think even from then he was seeing how it all worked He was always saying, ‘You’re amazing, you’re doing a great job, just enjoy it, have fun, don’t stress too much,’ and that was really good advice.”

Tomlinson himself has made it pretty clear he’s interested in the gig, with at least one space open after Radio 1 DJ Nick Grimshaw announced his departure. Speaking at the Brits last month, Tomlinson said no official conversation had taken place “yet”, but said he was certainly keen on having that chat: “Of course, it’s really exciting I mean, why wouldn’t I?”

Other names rumoured include former judge Louis Walsh and Tomlinson’s own band mate Liam Payne. It’s yet to be confirmed whether Rita Ora and Cheryl Fernandez-Versini will return – but there’s been little indication that they’re off. Simon Cowell is expected to stay.

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The X Factor returns later this year on ITV