26/08/2016 09:20 BST | Updated 26/08/2016 09:55 BST

'The X Factor' 2016: Nicole Scherzinger Does Not Want To Talk About Cheryl Fernandez-Versini

...which we found out the difficult way.

Nicole Scherzinger is definitely not up for talking about Cheryl Fernandez-Versini, as we discovered during this year’s ‘X Factor’ press launch.

OK, so here’s what actually happened.

As ‘X Factor’ fans will no doubt be aware, Nicole is one of the three judges returning for this year’s series, where she’ll be sitting in the seat previously occupied by Cheryl, who she’s had small-scale beef with in the past.

When we asked her if she was disappointed to have missed out on being on the panel with Cheryl, she explained diplomatically: “I mean… Mrs O [Sharon Osbourne]. I call her OG, the original gangster… she’s the mama. I’m really close with her. The people on the panel, that’s my family.”

Nicole Scherzinger did not want to talk about Cheryl

Sensing she may have misheard the question, we then asked Nicole about Cheryl again… though as you can see in the video above, it was slightly less well-received second time around.

The rumoured tension between the two singers began in 2011, when the ‘Fight For This Love’ singer was sacked from the American version of ‘X Factor’ days into her tenure as a judge, only for Nicole - who’d originally been recruited to co-host the show with Steve Jones - to replace her on the panel.

Kevin Winter via Getty Images
Any excuse to look at these flares, frankly

Cheryl later spoke rather unfavourably about Nicole in her autobiography, claiming: The first time I met Nicole was when she was performing on ‘The X Factor’ in London. ‘Oh my God, Cheryl! You’re just as pretty in real life! I heard your song on the radio!’ she had gushed. It was really embarrassing.

“Then she started singing ‘Promise This’ to me, and I swear to God the woman sang the whole song, to my face. It was just so awkward, and every time I stood next to her she started singing it again.

“I thought how that would be like me going up to Britney and singing the whole of ‘...Baby One More Time’ in her face. Can you imagine how weird that would be?”

Nicole later insisted: “The story is I met her once at ‘The X Factor’ and I wanted to make her feel good. I said I’d heard her song on the radio and I think I sang the words ‘promise this’. But I really don’t know any lyrics after that.”

The new series of ‘The X Factor’ kicks off on Saturday, August 27 at 8pm on ITV.

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