Stacey Solomon has defended her fellow Loose Women panellist Ayda Field, who has been selected as a judge on The X Factor. Some fans were left baffled after Ayda, who has a background in acting, was given a place on the singing competition's panel, alongside her chart-topping husband Robbie Williams, head judge Simon Cowell and One Direction singer Louis Tomlinson. But Stacey has quashed any doubt, telling MailOnline: "I'm really excited about this. And people should not underestimate Ayda. She is just as qualified as the other judges and she has a lot of experience in the entertainment industry."
Stacey, who finished third in the sixth series of The X Factor, added: "She has had an acting career and had setbacks and rejection. She has had auditions. She will have a lot of empathy for the people auditioning for the show. Ayda has been there herself and she's someone who always wants to help other people. On top of that, she'll be able to put Robbie in his place! The dynamics will be so great between them."
Simon Cowell defends his new judging panel:
Ayda, 39, and Robbie, 44, married at their Beverly Hills home in August 2010. They welcomed their daughter Teddy in September 2012, followed by their son Charlie in October 2014. At a press conference for the new series of X Factor, which HELLO! attended last week, Robbie hinted that his children, in particular five-year-old Teddy, may appear on the show. While the Angels singer said he was still undecided, he revealed his daughter is "destined for showbiz," and even cries when he goes on stage and she can't.
Robbie, Ayda, Louis Tomlinson and Simon Cowell make up the new panel
He also praised his wife, saying: "For nearly 30 years I've been touring. I've been wanting to branch out and The X Factor felt like the perfect vehicle. Ayda is my rock, she's looked after me through thick and thin. I'm looking forward to getting started as a judge."
Ayda added: "On a professional level I've auditioned for years so I know the highs and lows. I know what it takes to help people achieve their dreams. It's all about the auditionees, it's an organic process. The fact I get to work with Rob and against him is fantastic!"