Since the announcement of Louis Walsh's departure from The X Factor, speculation surrounding who exactly might be filling his shoes has been hotting up. This week came reports that Robbie Williams was in talks about stepping into the judging booth, then in something of a twist of the tale, it came out that his wife and sometime Loose Women panelist Ayda Field was also in talks to be a judge on the show. So who is likely to be the next The X Factor judge out of this glitzy celeb power couple? And how did Robbie Williams and Ayda Field meet?
First things first, according to The Sun, who cite Robbie Williams' memoir Reveal, Williams and Field were set up by a mutual friend. Williams initially "flaked" on their original plans to meet up — and confides that at the time he had been made been left feeling antisocial due to the pills he'd been taking — and so instead they arranged to meet up at his house, with Field dropping by after she'd be to a party. "In she came, and she’s had a few red wines," Williams says in Reveal. "I don’t think the situation suited her, being at a stranger’s house, coming from a party." And so Williams took her back to the party she'd just come from, which he described as "a tech party with tech people. It was like Revenge of the Nerds."
However, things still weren't exactly smooth sailing. "So I got tucked into a lot of drugs," Williams confesses. "Anyway, I took a turn for the worse, because I started to cluck like a chicken." On finding himself feeling ill and, well, clucking, while being sat in a jacuzzi with his future wife, Williams decided to head home. But Field joined him — reportedly staying by his side for the next three weeks, trying to take care of him. The couple are now of course married, with two kids. So could their next adventure be co-judging The X Factor?
It's looks like it could be on the cards. Since the departure of long-time X Factor judge Louis Walsh, rumours have been circulating about who might be filling his boots, with bookies running odds on anyone from Rita Ora to Kylie Minogue. But recently those rumours have been circulating around Williams — with The Sun first reporting that the former Take That singer was in "secret negotiations" with The X Factor bosses about potentially joining the show. However, The Sun has now reported that his wife is allegedly also "in talks" about becoming a judge. Bustle have approached ITV for comment about whether the rumours are true, but are yet to receive a response at time of publication.
So might Williams and Field be the show's first married judging duo? And what might they bring to the table?
Well, Williams obviously has some massive pop credentials, being a member of one of the UK's most successful boy bands. And that is not to mention his illustrious solo career, that has seen him repeatedly top the UK charts — and even break a Guinness World Record for the most tour tickets sold in a single day, for his 2006 world tour. More recently he topped the UK album charts again, with his 2016 studio album The Heavy Entertainment Show scoring a number one, and as Billboard report, securing him the accolade of being the British solo artist with the most U.K. No. 1 albums.
His wife would also bring along plenty of star power and celebrity prowess. A Turkish/American actress, Field has appeared on a number of high profile television shows, such as a the ITV/Netflix drama Paranoid, the Matthew Perry NBC show Studio 60 On The Sunset Strip, and the US soap Days Of Our Lives. She is also a regular panelist on the ITV show Loose Women, demonstrating she is not one for mincing words, and so could make a forthright addition to the panel.
With Williams' pop background and Field's acting and Hollywood nous, they'd really make the quite the judging team. And we'll just have to wait and see if The X Factor bosses agree.