American TV bosses have confirmed there is no chance of a return to the judging panel on the US X Factor for Cheryl Cole.
The star was dropped from the show last month but it was reported today that Simon Cowell was in talks in a bid to bring her back.
A statement released today on behalf of the show’s makers Fox, Fremantle Media North America and Syco TV, confirmed Cole will be replaced by former Pussycat Doll Nicole Scherzinger.
It went on: “Nicole will join Simon Cowell, L.A. Reid and Paula Abdul on their search across America to find the next global superstar or group to win the life-changing $5m recording deal. Nicole has previously joined Simon Cowell as a guest judge on The X Factor for the UK version of the show in 2010. Steve Jones will act as sole host of The X Factor.”
The first reports linking Cole to a role on the US show surfaced last year but were not confirmed until May 5 this year, when Cowell announced she had got the job.
But only three weeks later it was reported she had been dramatically dropped from the show, leading to feverish press speculation about her next career move and the state of her relationship with Cowell.
Some reports linked the Newcastle-born star with a judging role on a new BBC talent show, but publicist Max Clifford told Sky News yesterday Cole would be a judge on American X Factor if Cowell “has his way”.
Mr Clifford said he had spoken to Cowell, who told him: “I want Cheryl Cole on the show.”
He said the Syco chief was in discussions with the producers across the Atlantic, but does not have the final say.
Speaking to Sky News, the PR guru said Cowell insisted: “I’ve made that clear from the start, I’ve made it clear to everybody at Fox and Fremantle, the people involved, that my choice would be to have Cheryl Cole on the show.”
Some commentators have suggested the uncertainty of the judging situation is deliberately engineered by Cowell to increase publicity for the show, but Mr Clifford rubbished those claims.
“It’s certainly not Simon Cowell hype, as someone that has looked after Simon for 10 years,” he said.
“I think he’s had more headaches over this situation than probably anything in the previous 10 years.”