Arts Q&A: Louis Walsh on U2, his dream band line-up and Simon Cowell as god

Jenny Lee puts performers and artists on the spot about what really matters to them. This week, Louis Walsh

Louis Walsh is back on our screens in Ireland's Got Talent

1. When did you think about a career in music management and what were your first steps into it?

My first step was when I promoted a band in Mayo which supported all the showbands. They were called Time Machines, a three piece that bore similarities to Status Quo. I was still at school and used my local phone box to ring major promoters and got them into all the big gigs. Then I got to work in the showband office in Dublin with Tommy Hayden and I got to work with Linda Martin and manage Johnny Logan in the 1980s. I went to Eurovision and learnt about the music TV shows in Europe.

2. Best gigs you’ve been to?

I saw U2 last November. It wasn’t their best performance, but a brilliant atmosphere. I have great memories of seeing Crosby, Stills and Nash in Dublin’s Bord Gáis about three years ago.

3. Fantasy wedding/birthday party band?

Elton John on keyboard, Phil Collins on drums and George Michael, Justin Timberlake, Shirley Bassey and Diana Ross on vocals.

4. The record you’d take to a desert island?

Patsy Cline or Dusty Springfield Greatest Hits.

5. And the book?

A cheque book, so that hopefully someone comes along that I can pay to get me out of there.

6. Top films?

I always loved the The Exorcist because it makes me scream and The Shawshank Redemption is a brilliant film.

7. Worst film you’ve seen?

There are so many bad television movies – I can’t name just one.

8. Favourite authors?

I don’t really have any. I’m more into reading magazines – Q, Rolling Stone and The Sunday Times magazine.

9. Sport you most enjoy and top team?

I don’t care. I’m running all my life chasing hits.

10. Ideal holiday destination?

Miami and Dublin on a nice day. I also want to go to Russia.

11. Pet hate?

People smoking cigarettes in my face and rude, loud people. I love quietness, especially at night.

12. What’s your favourite:

Dinner? Anything Italian – so pizza and pasta.

Dessert? Tiramisu.

Drink? I don’t drink alcohol. I like sparkling water.

13. Who is your best friend and how do you know each other?

Simon Cowell and Sharon Osborne, my fellow X Factor judges. We still talk all the time.

14. Is there a God?

Simon Cowell thinks he is a God, so I’ll go with that.

:: Louis Walsh is joined by fellow judges Jason Byrne, Michelle Visage and Denise Van Outen in Ireland’s Got Talent. The series continues on Virgin Media One on Saturday evening.

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