X Factor veteran Louis Walsh has said he thinks Cheryl Cole is a "good choice" to replace out-going judge Sharon Osbourne.
Walsh thinks Cheryl will be 'soft' because of her past experience
The Girls Aloud singer, who made her name on talent show Popstars: The Rivals, will take over for the fifth series, which starts filming in London this week.
Long-standing judge Walsh said: “I heard on Friday it was between three people – it was Cheryl, Mel B and Charlotte Church.
"I know Cheryl very, very well from Popstars: The Rivals. I used to manage the band.
"I think it's a good choice - I think it's a young choice. I think it's different. And don't forget she'll identify with everybody coming into the room because she did that five years ago."
As for the notorious rivalry between the judges - currently Simon Cowell and Dannii Minogue - Walsh is confident they will get on.
He said: "I think her and Dannii are going to get on well. I think the problem's going to be me and Simon as usual.
“They're professionals. Don't forget Cheryl's worked with five girls in a band so she knows what it's like to work with other girls. I don't see why they won't get on.
"We're all judges and for the auditions we always get on really well. It's when we go live and we all get competitive – anything can happen then."
Having a young and attractive judge on the panel will certainly change the balance but Walsh doesn't think Cole will be too hard on contestants.
Walsh says he will miss working with Sharon, who is also a friend
He said: "I think Cheryl will be soft on people because she's been there and she knows what it's like to walk into a room and face judges.
"Simon and I always bicker - we're like two old ladies. But of course I like him and he has a good nose for talent.
"I think he won't know where to look now between Cheryl and Dannii - at least he won't be looking at me."
Osbourne, who has been on the panel for the last four years, has also given her support to Cole.
Louis admitted he would miss her contribution.
"I'm absolutely going to miss Sharon, I'm not going to pretend that. Because we are great friends and she is great fun. Sharon is a one off," he said.
Osbourne had denied she walked out because TV bosses wouldn't meet her pay demands.
But Walsh is happy to admit the panel are paid very well.
He said: "We all get overpaid. I just get enough. I love doing the show - I don't do it for money."
And as for any future judging candidates, Walsh said he would love to see Chris Moyles take up the challenge.