THE internet is awash with rumours that Cheryl Cole is making a comeback to the X Factor, after she visited Simon Cowell at his LA mansion.
The Girls Aloud star arrived in a blacked-out limo on Wednesday night and spent three-and-a-half hours at her meeting with Cowell.
Cowell is said to be desperate to put a plan in place to save the show, which is losing viewers to BBC rival Strictly.
Last weekend, only 8.2 million viewers watched the show, compared to the figure of almost 20 million in 2010, who watched back both Cheryl and Simon were on the judging panel.
Their meeting comes 18 months after Cheryl was sacked from the X Factor USA after leaving the British show for the US version, sparking the end of the friendship between her and Cowell.
She texted him: “F*** you. F*** Britain’s Got Talent. F*** the orange and purple outfit. F*** big hair. F*** the UK X Factor. F*** you all,” after her public sacking.
A biography of Simon Cowell by Tom Bower suggested that the X Factor mogul was infatuated with Cheryl and that he wanted to sleep with the Girls Aloud singer.
However, he admitted to a pal: “I felt like a mouse being played with by a beautiful cat.”
Cheryl returned to the X Factor earlier this year briefly by agreeing to help Gary Barlow at the judge’s stage of the competition.
However, the feud was reignited with Cowell when he tweeted: “Welcome back, Cheryl” and she responded: “I saw Simon’s tweet. I’m not doing this for him. I’m doing it for Gary. He’s my friend and he asked me to do it.”
She later said: “We’re ‘frenemies’. I’ve spoken to him many times.”
A source close to the star has told The Sun that Cheryl can command whatever fee she wants, as Cowell is desperate to get her back on the panel after the show has ‘lost its way.’
It is uncertain as to which member of the current judging panel she might replace – Tulisa Contostavlos or Nicole Scherzinger – or if Cowell will opted to revamp the show completely for 2013, as has been suggested.