Sick Cheryl may miss Children In Need show

Albertina Lloyd

Gary Barlow says 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 it is understood that she is having problems with her throat.

Barlow joked today that he was now thinking of contingency plans for the event.

Speaking at rehearsals in London today, 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."