X Factor boss Simon Cowell says Westlife were the ugliest boy band in the world.

Speaking on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Cowell revealed that his first impression of the group was not good. "When they first came along, they were the ugliest boy band in the world. Seriously, like you couldn't get uglier.

"I said to the manager at the time, 'Forget it', and then he re-auditioned and one of the ugly ones dyed his hair blonde for the second time I saw them and he got back into the group. I didn't recognise him but it all worked out fine and they sold about 50 million albums."

Westlife the early years: Brian McFadden, Nicky Byrne, Shane Filan, Mark Feehily and Kian Egan