Alesha Dixon and Gary Barlow to replace Cheryl and Simon on The X Factor?

Simon Cowell and Cheryl Cole

It seems while the folks in the states may be getting music mogul Simon Cowell and Girls Aloud babe Cheryl Cole for their X Factor, we've been left with Strictly Come Dancing judge Alesha Dixon and boring boyband member Gary Barlow. According to News of the World today, both stars are on the "shortlist" to join this year's show.

Other names on the list include N-Dubz star Tulisa and one fifth of The Saturdays Frankie Sandford.

With these sorts of names, I'm hoping there's an option to just go back to three judges....

A source said: "Cheryl leaves a massive void on the panel and there's a serious hunt going on right now.

"They're worried that without Simon on the panel either they need to find someone with a strong voice and personality who can blossom into a star. The obvious advantage of Alesha is that she's young, sexy and confident and already has experience on a judging panel."

Alesha joined the panel of rival reality series Strictly Come Dancing in 2009 in a controversial move that many saw as the BBC trying to replicate the success of Cheryl Cole, having joined The X Factor the year before in 2008.

However there appears to be some method to the madness, as both Alesha and Gary have worked together before, taking part in the Kilimanjaro Trek in 2009 - which also included Cheryl Cole and bandmate Kimberley Walsh.

"Gary and Alesha get on brilliantly and they could really be a winning combo," the source added.

Live audition dates for The X Factor 2011 will be announced later this month.

Read more on this story over on the News Of The World website

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