The X Factor judge Louis Walsh has said that new panellist Cheryl Cole has the potential to become ‘the next Cilla Black’.

The veteran pop manager told the News of The World that the Girls Aloud star – who replaced Sharon Osbourne as a judge and mentor on the ITV1 talent show – is doing “amazingly well” in auditions and has the star talent to be a household name.

“Since seeing Cheryl in action, I now know she was the right choice from all of Girls Aloud for the role,” Walsh told the paper.

“She’s opinionated, good-looking, great TV and she can sing. And Simon loves her. Of course I’ll miss Sharon – she was a mate – but I think Cheryl will match her for entertainment value.”

“Cheryl’s a natural. She’s got all the star quality and charisma to become the new Cilla Black.”

And Walsh – best known for managing bands such as Boyzone and Westlife – promised that the forthcoming series of the show would be bigger and better than ever with its new judge.

“Bringing Cheryl on board will give the show a new lease of life and energy,” he said.

“You can expect as many fireworks as before and with Cheryl it will be a major hit.”