Will you be surprised to hear that the pride of Scotland Susan Boyle is backing Ireland's Mary Byrne to sweep away the competition at this year’s X Factor final?

We didn't think so. Boyle believes that the Dublin-born supermarket worker has got the good to become a global singing sensation like herself.

Boyle told the press this week: "Mary’s a wonderful lady. I struggled in the same way. It’s difficult. But Mary, you can keep going!"

Boyle added: "Mary’s got a fantastic voice and I don’t view her as competition. I view her as a fellow artist."

Boyle said that like the rest of Britain, she has been glued to this year’s finals and that she already has a VIP seat reserved for the finale.

"I find it very gripping. But it’s an open competition, it could go one way or the other," Boyle added.