Lily Allen can do "amazing things" when she comes out of retirement, according to Divine Comedy singer Neil Hannon.

The pop star is currently on a self-imposed hiatus after becoming disillusioned with the music business but the 'National Express' singer insists she can go onto to great things if she decides to return.

He said: "I genuinely admire Lily Allen's lyrics and sound, you know the tunes generally have a lot of people involved, but she makes some wonderfully pithy comments. I'd prefer it if they were more outward looking, rather than always inward. But she's definitely a writer who could do amazing things in the future, if she does. She doesn't seem to want to though."

Neil - who this week was nominated for an Ivor Novello award for his cricket concept album with side project The Duckworth Lewis Method - insists it's OK for Lily to take some time out as long as she keeps writing new songs.

He added to BANG Showbiz: "It's alright if she takes two years out, just keep writing."