THE X Factor has come under fire after devoting countless hours to dimwit Louis Walsh.
The 59-year-old judge, who lives in a single bed council flat in Bridgend, has been shown struggling to tap his fingers to the beat during any of the auditions featured since the talent show first aired in 2004.
The Irish born judge’s latest humiliation, during the Cardiff auditions, was aired on ITV over the weekend – but has come under fire from those who hate to see a baffled old man humiliated as prime time entertainment.
Clips of Louis making inane comments, getting over excited at the most mundane auditions by lame karaoke singers, panting at the prospect of getting to know another insipid boy band, indulging in general hyperbole and feeble attempts at humour and generally showing a poor knowledge of musical matters, have been criticised online.
ITV presenter Lorraine Kelly tweeted: “Uncomfy to watch louie on x factor – he’s a poor wee soul”.
Singer Lily Allen wrote: “Louise from Bridgend, County Ceri (sic) they shouldn’t have aired that, he’s clearly ill”.
Richard Madeley, a TV presenter in his 50s but who’s really cool because he uses Twitter to comment on such issues, said: “Louis should never have been featured, certainly at such cruel length. Bad end to the show.”
Tabitha Intern, a producer at the show, defended the decision to continually broadcast Louis at the auditions, year after year.
She also pointed out that either last year or possibly the year before – they all seem to blend into one – executive producers Simon Cowell and Jesus had dropped Louis from the judging panel.
“Louis is a regular feature of the show, his general out of his depthness is the very essence of the X Factor, which is more about laughing at the many who can’t sing as there are so few who can. It’s just harmless fun really.”
Ronan Keating, director of communications for the Irish pop industry, said: “To put Louis in the spotlight in this context is exploitative. We hope the public outcry over this incident will prompt X Factor bosses to be more sensitive in the way they handle him in future.
“Regardless of any entertainment value, I think most people watching would have regarded this episode as gratuitous and cruel.”