Louis Walsh has claimed Geri Halliwell knows nothing about the music business.

The X Factor judge and music manager was not happy about the former Spice Girl joining the show as a guest judge, as he didn’t feel she had the skills and knowledge to judge wannabe singers.

In 2002, Louis was a judge alongside Geri and Pete Waterman on ITV1’s Popstars The Rivals, the show that discovered Cheryl Cole and the rest of Girls Aloud.

Louis told Star magazine: “All I can say is, Geri who? I mean, what does she know about the music business? She got the most boos from the crowd, too.”

But he was a fan of the other guest judges, especially Nicole Scherzinger, and admitted he and Simon Cowell needed women to help while Cheryl was recovering from malaria and Dannii Minogue was off having her baby.

He said: “I thought Nicole from the Pussycat Dolls was absolutely brilliant when she stood in! I liked Natalie Imbruglia, and Katy Perry was great fun.

“We know that we need girls and that’s why we’ve used Geri, Natalie, Nicole and Katy. Simon isn’t planning for the show without Cheryl and Dannii – he is crossing his fingers that they will be back.”

Louis is optimistic Cheryl will be better in time for the live shows.

He said: “I honestly think she has started turning the corner. She was very ill and now I’m hearing that she is getting a little stronger every day.

“Knowing Cheryl, she will be back looking better than ever. Nobody will be able to keep her away from X Factor – she loves it!

“I honestly think Cheryl may be back for the live shows – I think wild horses won’t be able to stop her.”