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Simon and Cheryl in battle over Louis' X Factor future

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Cheryl Cole, who has announced her return to the X Factor judging panel. Photo: Getty

Cheryl Cole, who has announced her return to the X Factor judging panel. Photo: Getty

Cheryl Cole, who has announced her return to the X Factor judging panel. Photo: Getty

THE battle lines have been drawn between returning X Factor judges Simon Cowell and Cheryl Cole over the future of fellow panelist Louis Walsh.

Cole (30) and Cowell (54) are reportedly at war over who will join them on the top table when the show returns this year.

The Former Girls Aloud star wants another woman judge, while the music mogul wants to keep Walsh.

Cole told a UK newspaper: "There are people I'd love to join the panel. Definitely a strong woman.

Assurances

"I'm kind of hoping I don't have to deal with three guys because otherwise I'll have no hair – I'll be pulling it out all the time."

But Cowell said the two of them would discuss the matter and added: "We said that we'd agree together. I'm not going to put someone beside her who she hates."

A spokesman for Walsh said he had been given repeated assurances that he would return to the ITV show.

Cowell and Cole quit The X Factor after the 2010 series to launch a new version across the Atlantic, but she was dropped within weeks, during the audition stages, amid claims Americans could not understand her Newcastle accent .

Her and Cowell then fell out, but it was announced yesterday she was returning to the UK version of the show after a four-year break in a deal said to be worth £1.5m (€1.8m)

Cowell announced her comeback online, writing: "It's official. Cheryl is back. She is a brilliant judge of talent."

Cole claimed Cowell had begged her to return for years, joking: "It's not nice to see a grown man cry."

She said the pair have a "great relationship", that she holds no grudges and that her return was a "step forward".

New father Cowell admitted he got it wrong by letting her go in 2011 and said it took "2,000 calls" to persuade her to forgive him and come back.

He added: "Of course I was wrong, I don't mind admitting it. If I could turn the clock back I'd do it differently, but I can't."

Cowell also told how he believed the pair could pick up where they left off because he considers her a friend, saying: "I trust her and she is loyal."

HNEWS@HERALD.IE


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