Simon Cowell finally confirms Sharon Osbourne for X Factor judging panel
Simon Cowell has confirmed he is finalising Sharon Osbourne's return to The X Factor.
Sharon was one of the original members of the judging panel when the singing contest debuted on U.K. TV in 2004.
The music manager turned TV personality, who last helped judge the competition in 2013, was linked with a return in April (16) after she was reported to be taking part in secret rehearsals alongside fellow former judge Louis Walsh.
And now, X Factor supremo Simon has all-but confirmed that he's ensuring she will make a comeback.
“I think she and I are going to work on a show together in the UK," he told Britain's The Sun newspaper. “We mainly have a love relationship. It is always back to love.”
Sharon and Simon had a famously fractious relationship when appearing on the show together.
However in the wake of the rumoured break-down of her marriage to rocker Ozzy Osbourne amid allegations of his infidelity, Simon has offered his support and says he hopes the couple work through their marital difficulties.
“I feel for her," he said. "When it is public it is embarrassing, right? So it is bad enough when it happens, if it is true, and when it’s public as well, it’s not great. I have known them a long time. I cannot ever see them apart. He will get a hard time and then hopefully she will bring him back."
The music mogul's desire to see Sharon return appears to be part of a move to bring back judges from The X Factor's past after the show has suffered from declining audience figures in recent years.
Last year (15) pop star Rita Ora and British radio DJ Nick Grimshaw joined the panel in a bid to reverse The X Factor's flagging fortunes, but the pair have since departed the show along with British pop star Cheryl.
Irish pop master Louis Walsh, who spent a decade as a judge from 2004 to 2014, has already been confirmed as a judge for the 2016 series, while former Pussycat Doll Nicole Scherzinger, who had a well received two series stint as a judge, has also been strongly linked with a return.
The X Factor will return to British TV channel ITV1 later this year (16), with auditions taking place over the summer, and live shows beginning in the autumn.