Singer's TV put-down was a stunt

By Jenni DixonA SINGER-SONGWRITER who was made to look a fool on a reality television show has claimed the incident was staged for the cameras.Ed Dara appeared on ITV show The X Factor on Saturday and viewers saw her stood up on a dinner-date with Louis Walsh, manager of pop groups Westlife and Girls Aloud.

By Jenni Dixon

A SINGER-SONGWRITER who was made to look a fool on a reality television show has claimed the incident was staged for the cameras.

Ed Dara appeared on ITV show The X Factor on Saturday and viewers saw her stood up on a dinner-date with Louis Walsh, manager of pop groups Westlife and Girls Aloud.

Ms Dara, 45, from Southwold, sang a version of The Carpenters' classic Close To You before Mr Walsh and fellow judges, Simon Cowell and Sharon Osbourne, at The X Factor auditions at Wembley Arena.


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Mr Walsh used to be Ms Dara's booking agent when she was in a band 20 years ago and she worked with him in the 1990s when he managed the chart-topping boy band, Boyzone.

Viewers saw Mr Cowell, famous for his harsh advice on other talent shows such as Pop Idol, telling Ms Dara that she was not what they were looking for, before egging on Mr Walsh to take her out for dinner.

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Mr Walsh told Ms Dara to come back the next evening, but when she did, he first hid behind a dressing room door before disappearing into a chauffeured car.

“Simon took to the bait to wind up Louis and I knew this dinner wasn't going to happen anyway,” said Ms Dara.

“We shot three different endings - one was of us talking outside the reception area, leaving it open-ended, the other was of me looking devastated - but it was all done in the best possible fun and taste.”

But the spokeswoman for The X Factor denied the incident had been staged and was not aware that three different endings had been recorded.

She said: “It was all instigated by Simon, getting his revenge after he was made to kiss a contestant from last week's show, and the situation just developed. Louis did speak to her afterwards and there were no hard feelings.”

Although she was told by all three judges that she would not be chosen from 50,000 applicants as one of the 120 acts for the next round of The X Factor, Ms Dara was pleased to have given it a-go.

“It was fun, but the devastation from those who didn't get in was just unbelievable,” she said.

jenni.dixon@eadt.co.uk

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