However, The Mirror have reported that when Rita discovered that Simon was prepared to drop her in favour of Nicole, she decided to throw in the towel before he had the chance to sack her.
A source told the newspaper: “Simon offered Rita her old job back but always knew he’d withdraw it if he could get Nicole. Now Rita has found out about it and has claimed that she has ‘quit’ so that it doesn’t look like she was pushed.”
It has since been claimed that old faces Louis Walsh and Sharon Osbourne are being lined up to return, alongside Nicole, who has been absent from the show since 2013.
An insider told MailOnline: “Nicole Scherzinger was a huge success when she was on ‘X Factor’ a few years ago and has long been part of the ‘X Factor’ family. She provided fun and entertainment and a huge personality to the show. She is the definite favourite to get the seat next to Simon.”
Dermot O’Leary has also been confirmed to be making a return as the show’s presenter, after Caroline Flack and Olly Murs got a lukewarm reception from viewers during last year’s series.
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