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Are Lou Ready? Louis Walsh wants to audition hopefuls for new Irish talent search

"I’m going to do auditions, whenever it’s safe. I want to do a talent search for young people, guys and girls."

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(Photo: Gerry Mooney)

(Photo: Gerry Mooney)

(Photo: Gerry Mooney)

Louis Walsh has said that he’s “raring to go” when it comes to finding Ireland’s freshest new talent.

The Westlife manager said that he wants to put together a new group as he expects a huge surge in the entertainment industry as we start coming out of the pandemic.

“I’m going to do auditions, whenever it’s safe. I want to do a talent search for young people, guys and girls. At the moment, the live events business is terrible but I think it’s going to come back with a bang,” he told Independent.ie.

“We are where we are; we just have to get on with it.”

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Minister for Education Norma Foley TD with Louis Walsh and Mairead Ronan as they call on all students to enter a logo design competition to represent BLAST – Bringing Live Arts to Students and Teachers. The initiative will enable up to 400 new arts in education residencies in schools each year.

Minister for Education Norma Foley TD with Louis Walsh and Mairead Ronan as they call on all students to enter a logo design competition to represent BLAST – Bringing Live Arts to Students and Teachers. The initiative will enable up to 400 new arts in education residencies in schools each year.

Minister for Education Norma Foley TD with Louis Walsh and Mairead Ronan as they call on all students to enter a logo design competition to represent BLAST – Bringing Live Arts to Students and Teachers. The initiative will enable up to 400 new arts in education residencies in schools each year.

Westlife were recently forced to postpone their series of live concert dates in Ireland and UK but he said they have lots of fresh material to perform for fans once gigs get up and running again.

“They have no live shows until next year. The album is all finished, all done and dusted. It’s got some great songs on it, they are all co-writes so it’s all good,” he said.

A former manager of Girls Aloud, he also paid tribute to the late Sarah Harding, who passed away from breast cancer on September 5 at the age of 39.

“She was always happy, always smiling. She loved the fans and she loved life and music,” Louis said.

“I remember her very first audition for Popstars: The Rivals in 2002. I was judging with Geri Halliwell and Pete Waterman, I think she sang ‘Total Eclipse of the Heart.’ She just lit up the room. We just knew that people were going to like her. She was funny and sassy.

"They had a guy producing them at the time called Brian Higgins and he just got the best of our her, he was amazing with her. She was a great girl. I remember only laughs with her and she loved life and music. It's just unfair she gone so young. It was just awful, it’s too young to die.”

Pre-pandemic, Louis was once a weekly visitor to London to film The X Factor but he said he hasn’t been in an airport for nearly 19 months.

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However, he is looking forward to flying out to the sunshine state of Florida in December.

“I’ve booked the first direct flight out of Ireland. I’m looking forward to that and to getting back to work as well. I miss the music game but I’m in touch with a lot of people. I’m excited for next year,” he said.

He was speaking at the launch of the logo competition for BLAST (Bringing Live Arts to Students and Teachers) alongside Mairead Ronan and Education Minister Norma Foley.

A new initiative that will see up to 400 new arts-in-education residencies taking place in schools annually, all students are eligible to enter the contest to design the scheme’s logo.

Closing date for entries is Thursday, September 30 and further information can be found on www.gov.ie/blast.

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