Girls Aloud singer Cheryl Cole was sensationally dumped just days into the US version of The X Factor but it seems the star could be set to make a triumphant return to the UK series after Simon Cowell kicked off a campaign to get her back on the judging panel.
According to a report, Kelly Rowland is facing the axe after her performance "faded" towards the end of the last series and Simon is thought to be more determined than ever to make a success of the show after host Steve Jones and judges Nicole Scherzinger and Paula Abdul were given the chop from the American arm of the franchise last week.
Cheryl and Simon's relationship was rumoured to have been fraught after she was sacked from the television juggernaught but former Popstars The Rivals contestant made up with music impresario Simon after flying a congratulatory birthday banner past his 52nd birthday party.
Speaking to the The Mirror about Cheryl's possible return, a source said: "Cheryl is part of The X Factor family. Formal discussions have yet to take place but if she wants to come back she would be welcomed with open arms.
"She was hugely popular and she's totally gorgeous. We'd love to have her back."
Simon has hinted he would welcome Cheryl back if she was willing to return after joking she misses being in his company.
When asked if he would welcome her back in the past, he told The Mirror: "She could be a panellist again if she wanted to - 100 per cent.
"I don't know if she would. I think she probably misses me."
He added: "I regret what happened because Cheryl was a close friend. I've always believed we'll end up doing something together again."
And it seems Cheryl may step into former Destiny's Child star Kelly Rowland's shoes after it emerged she was unhappy with the "circus" surrounding the judge's roles on the show.
A source recently said: "She enjoyed her time on the programme but was taken aback by the circus surrounding it.
"From his side, Simon Cowell felt that Kelly had got off to a really strong start but slightly faded towards the latter half of the series.
"He is already on the look-out for fresh talent."
Gary Barlow also hinted he may not return to the show after the last series took too much time out of his Take That schedule.
He recently told The Sun: "This show takes over your life, it is not a two day a week show."
And Simon also hinted he doesn't expect Gary to return, saying: "I always thought that with Gary he would have the Take That commitment in 2012."
So will Cheryl return? Only time will tell...
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