Cheryl Cole may miss duet with Gary Barlow due throat problems
GARY Barlow said a planned duet with Cheryl Cole for Children In Need hangs in the balance because she is unwell.
The Take That star had been lining up an appearance with Cole at the Children In Need Rocks event in Manchester on Thursday.
It would be Cole's first performance for months in the UK, in a year which saw her unceremoniously dumped as a judge from the US version of X Factor.
But Barlow said it was still not clear whether it would go ahead because the Girls Aloud singer was feeling "ill".
It is understood that organisers have been informed she is having problems with her throat.
Barlow yesterday joked that he was now thinking of contingency plans for the event which he has put together.
Speaking at rehearsals in London, he said: "She's ill. We're waiting to hear.
"It's meant to be a surprise but that's the plan - if not, I don't know what we're going to do. I might just have to get on the piano and do a bit of Roll Out The Barrel."
The X Factor judge said he was relishing the prospect of performing again, rather than observing and mentoring.
"I'm looking forward to it I really am," he said.
"I'm always trying to remind myself that's actually what I do and I don't just sit behind a desk talking. So it's important to me to get back out there."
Barlow admitted it was hard work organising the charity event, and said he had made sure everything was in hand before the X Factor live shows began in August.
He also brought together Chipmunk, Ed Sheeran, Miss Dynamite, Rizzle Kicks, Tulisa Contostavlos and Labrinth for this year's BBC Children In Need single, Teardrop.
He said: "The message is to look after each other. And with the line-up of MCs we've got - these are what young people listen to and so it's really important to have people that actually matter to young people speaking through their music."
Barlow - who mentored X Factor contestant Frankie Cocozza until he bowed out of the show amid drugs allegations - said it was also important for those on the X Factor to remember they were in the public eye.
He said: "I think on X Factor you're speaking to pretty much everybody because its a family show. So you're speaking to young people and old people.
"It's important I think always to remember that there's an audience out there who are going to respond to anything that happens during the show and I think this year, as with most other years it's had its ups and down and it's important for us to remember we're actually setting examples.
"And also for us to paint a picture of, although we're on a show here, this is what it's going to be like, this is how tough it's gonna be, which is why we always come from a position of honesty when we're giving our critiques."