Since the new panel was confirmed last month, with 39-year-old actress Ayda joining her husband Robbie Williams, 44, One Direction star Louis Tomlinson, 26, and X Factor Simon Cowell, 58, many viewers have taken to social media to rail against her appointment.
One Twitter user said they were “horrified” by the idea, while a second blasted: “Why on earth is Ayda Field an #XFactor judge? Just had to google who she was. #wtf #joke #shocked.”(sic)
A third called the decision a “nepotism-based scam” and another asked: “Someone tell me how Robbie Williams’ wife Ayda Field can judge a singing contest like X Factor when she’s an actress?
“You could pick anyone off the street that would have the same singing credentials as her.”
People will be really pleasantly surprised by Ayda Field
However, Stacey Solomon, 28, who shot to fame when she competed on X Factor back in 2009 and regularly works with Ayda on Loose Women, has voiced her support for her pal as a judge.
“It’s not a popular opinion,” she admitted. “I actually think Ayda will be incredible.
“I know that she knows a hell of a lot about the music industry through Robbie’s career. She’s been involved in a lot, like a lot.
“She’s really funny, she’s eloquent, she’s actually really smart and intelligent and I do think that she’s got the credentials to be a great judge,” Stacey continued.
“Sometimes people forget it’s so important to have great personality on the judging panel,” she insisted. “Because it does draw in viewers and it does make people feel at home.
“And she’ll keep Robbie in check. I actually think people will be really pleasantly surprised by her.”
X Factor 2018: Ayda Field was backed by Stacey Solomon as a judge
Stacey explained she could see how Simon would have come to the decision to give the job to Ayda, saying: “I can actually imagine her and Simon having a conversation and him thinking, I want her to be a judge.
“Regardless of Robbie and everything else, because I know the type of people which he really gets on with and likes and sees potential in, I can imagine him thinking, that’s the kind of personality I want on my show.”
The Loose Women favourite also insisted: “I wouldn’t be upset if I was in her category, put it that way.”
Following the backlash to the news of her new judging role, Ayda spoke out to defend herself at a press conference.
“On a professional level, I’ve auditioned for years,” she said. “I know what it’s like when the stakes are high, to put it all out there.
X Factor 2018: Ayda Field’s Loose Women co-star Stacey Solomon voiced her praise for the new judge
X Factor 2018: Ayda Field previously defended her appointment
“I know what it’s like to get the job, I also know what it’s like to lose the job.
“Being with Rob for 12 years, I’ve been every step of the way with him,” she added. “I have a huge amount of empathy for the process.
“I know what it takes from creating the songs, to promotion, to live shows. It’s a very emotional process.
“I’m excited to be that rock and that stability and that guidance for my group. And to help some people out, help them achieve their dreams. I’m really excited about that.
“And as a member of the general public, which I love,” she added. “Because this is about the general public!”
Meanwhile, Stacey has partnered up with Kellogg’s to mark the launch of their new Coco Pops recipe with 40 per cent less sugar.
With a survey showing over half of all families in the UK now spend less than 10 minutes having breakfast together, Stacey is keen to encourage people to balance their work and family lives.
X Factor 2018: Ayda Field’s pal Stacey Solomon has joined forces with Kellogg’s
“I’m excited to do this campaign because, first of all my kids like Coco Pops,” she laughed. “There’s not a lot of kids that don’t. And also I do care a lot about the fact that they’ve improved the recipe.
“Sometimes I get so busy that there’s days where I’m just like, get your own breakfast kids! And there are some days where I’ve got that little bit of extra time and you forget how nice it is to start your day sat and the table and having conversations and spending time with each other.”
Speaking about striking the right balance, she added: “The most important thing is to not feel guilty about everything.
“At the end of the day, if I don’t work then I can’t provide for my children. As much as I’d like to be around them all the time, and they’d love that as well, I also realise that’s just not my circumstances and I couldn’t provide that way. You just have to cut yourself a bit of slack sometimes.”
X Factor returns later this summer on ITV.