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Josh Luckhurst & Daniel Hall

Louis Walsh makes sly dig at Cheryl and says he didn't want to manage Girls Aloud

Popstars: The Rivals and X Factor judge Louis Walsh has admitted he "didn't want" to manage Girls Aloud, the Mirror Reports.

The 69-year old music manager judged alongside producer Pete Waterman, DJ Dr Neil Fox and Ginger Spice Geri Halliwell on the popular ITV programme in 2002, one of the first programmes of its type to hit mainstream TV. Since then, we've had an array of talent shows hit our screens, including the X Factor and Britain's Got Talent, which recently saw Axel Blake scoop £250,000 and a spot at the Royal Variety Performance.

Popstars: The Rivals came just months after Will Young won Pop Idol, ahead of runner up Gareth Gates. The show saw contestants trying to earn a place in a boy band and girl band which went head-to-head for the coveted Christmas number one spot.

Read more: Girls Aloud reunion confirmed for Race for Life in honour of Sarah Harding and fans can join them

Louis had already had huge success with Irish bands Westlife and Boyzone and expected to get the winning boy band, One True Voice. But to his dismay, he was given the girls - Sarah Harding, Nadine Coyle, Nicola Roberts, Kimberley Walsh and of course, Cheryl.

Speaking to the Sun, Louis said: "I thought I was going to get a boy band — I was convinced. And they gave me the girls. I didn’t want them.

"Girls don’t like each other in bands — it’s very simple. They all want to be the lead girl."

He also made a sly dig at Geordie Cheryl, with whom he had a long-standing feud that started when managing Girls Aloud between 2002 and 2004, and even continued when she became a judge on the X Factor in 2008.

He added: "They all want to go out with the footballer. They all want to be the skinniest. Just look at the Sugababes, any line-up they had, and they were brilliant.

"So I had these five girls in Girls Aloud and we thankfully found this great song, Sound Of The Underground."

Girls Aloud won the battle of the bands by claiming the 2002 Christmas number one ahead of One True Voice, with the Cheeky Girls, who also auditioned for the show, rounding off the top three with the Cheeky Song (Touch my bum). The five-piece went on to record 20 consecutive top 10 hits in the UK, including four number ones and a Brit award.

Girls Aloud (left-right) Kimberley Walsh, Nicola Roberts, Nadine Coyle, Sarah Harding and Cheryl Cole (PA)

Louis also admitted he only became a TV judge because he was offered "a load of money," which he couldn't refuse.

He concluded: "I didn’t want to be on TV, I was happy managing bands. I was making good money as a ­manager.

"Then he offered me a load of money and I said yes. It was to do something that I liked doing anyway."

Who is your favourite artist to come out of a TV talent show? Let us know!

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