Sunday 11 December 2016

Cheryl Fernandez-Versini confirms she's quit The X Factor: 'I wish them all the best'

Sasha Brady

Published 05/04/2016 | 07:45

Cheryl Fernandez-Versini
Cheryl Fernandez-Versini
Cheryl Fernandez-Versini (Photo by David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images for KOBOX)
Cheryl Fernandez-Versini and Liam Payne at Salmontini restarant on March 9, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Mark Milan/GC Images)
Television judge/producer Simon Cowell attends NBC's "America's Got Talent" Season 11 Kickoff at Pasadena Civic Auditorium on March 3, 2016 in Pasadena, California. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)
Louis Walsh

Cheryl Fernandez-Versini is quitting The X Factor to focus on her solo career.

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The 32-year-old is said to be releasing new music this year and will be stepping down from her position as judge on the ITV talent show.

Cheryl revealed plans to the show's boss Simon Cowell and friends, over dinner in Hollywood this weekend.

In a statement, the former Girls Aloud star said: “I have had such an amazing experience being a judge on The X Factor. I have learnt so much and enjoyed nurturing talent but I’ve missed making music and am excited to be recording again."

Cheryl Fernandez-Versini attends the BRIT Awards 2016 at The O2 Arena on February 24, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Dave J Hogan/Dave J Hogan/Getty Images)
Cheryl Fernandez-Versini attends the BRIT Awards 2016 at The O2 Arena on February 24, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Dave J Hogan/Dave J Hogan/Getty Images)

“I want to thank everybody I have worked with along the way, especially Simon who I love to bits. I hope the show continues to produce stars and I wish them all the best.”

Simon noted: "Cheryl and myself spoke about this. I totally understand her commitment to making more records. She has been amazing on the show and in the near future we will be working on other things together.”

The X Factor pulled in disappointing ratings during its last series
The X Factor pulled in disappointing ratings during its last series

A spokesperson for The X Factor added: “Cheryl has been a great judge and mentor during her time on The X Factor, from her early years of winning with two of her acts – Alexandra Burke and Joe McElderry - through to last year’s series where she took Reggie ’N’ Bollie into the final. We’d like to thank Cheryl for her contribution to the show and wish her all the best with her return to music.”

It's believed that Cheryl wants to focus on her music career and plans to release new material this year.

Cheryl Fernandez-Versini and Liam Payne at Salmontini restarant on March 9, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Mark Milan/GC Images)
Cheryl Fernandez-Versini and Liam Payne at Salmontini restarant on March 9, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Mark Milan/GC Images)

The singer is rumoured to be working in the studio in Los Angeles while she spends quality time with boyfriend Liam Payne.

Cheryl first joined the The X Factor's judging panel in 2008 and left two seasons later during an unsuccessful bid to join the US version.

She returned to the show for its eleventh season in 2014. 

Meanwhile, former judge Louis Walsh is also being considered for a comeback after he was fired from the show last year. 

Louis Walsh
Louis Walsh

The source continued: "[Simon] wants his friend back by his side like the good old days, but he’s coming up against resistance from producers."

It's believed that the show's bosses are looking to win back older audiences who may have migrated to BBC's Strictly Come Dancing with the return of its veteran judges and host Dermot O'Leary.

Dermot O'Leary
Dermot O'Leary

O'Leary, who had been a mainstay of Cowell's show for eight years, departed in 2015 saying it was "time for me to move on".

However, the star has now said he is "really looking forward" to the forthcoming instalment.

Sharon Osbourne - who also returned to the show briefly for season 10 - is believed to be keen to make a comeback too.

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