Girls Aloud have denied that they intended to criticise the contestants on the television talent show 'X Factor'.

In a message posted on the group's website, Cheryl Tweedy said: "Not sure if you saw 'X Factor' over the weekend, but me and the girls haven't been slagging off the contestants on the show."

She also said that the group were supporting the acts on the programme. "We have been watching it and we have been texting the show to support Maria, Shayne, Nicholas and others."

"We know exactly what they're going through as we had to perform in front of a live audience every week a few years ago. Good luck to them all," Tweedy said.

On last weekend's live show, Simon Cowell, who is one of the judges, issued a challenge to Girls Aloud to come on the programme the following week and sing live.