Louis Walsh makes dig at Strictly ahead of ratings war

X Factor judge Louis Walsh has opened up hostilities with Strictly Come Dancing once more by branding the rival show a "warm-up act" for his programme.

The programmes will embark on a ratings war from tomorrow as they prepare to stage their live heats each Saturday, both hoping to grab the bigger audience.

X Factor judge Louis Walsh. Credit: Press Association

But Walsh was dismissive of the BBC1 dance contest - which begins earlier than X Factor - and made barbed comments about its 84-year-old host Sir Bruce Forsyth.

"Strictly is like a warm-up act for the X Factor, with a very old frontman," Walsh said today.

The two shows have long been in a battle for viewers. The two programmes do not directly compete tomorrow night with Strictly finishing 15 minutes before The X Factor begins airing at 8pm.

However the two shows will have a five minute overlap on the following Saturday.