X Factor judge Louis Walsh appears to have reopened hostilities with Strictly Come Dancing by calling the rival show a "warm-up act" for his programme.

The programmes will embark on a ratings war when they stage live heats each Saturday, both hoping to grab the bigger audience.

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.

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

The Irish music manager - who found success with acts such as Boyzone and Westlife - has regularly taken swipes at Sir Bruce.

And he kept up his criticism of the veteran star, adding: "I don't think you'll see me on television when I'm 84. Andy Williams has just died and he's 84."

The two shows have long been in a battle for viewers. The two programmes do not directly compete this Saturday 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.