It sounds as though Simon Cowell doesn’t quite trust new X Factor 2011 judge Tulisa Contostavlos, lining up Cheryl Cole to save the show if it all goes badly. According to Now magazine, Simon wants the Geordie star "waiting in the wings" to step if the N-Dubz singer screws it up.
Having been to the auditions, we reckon Tulisa is doing a fine job on the panel bringing some fresh blood to what was previously a stale line up.
A source however said: "[Simon] wants [Cheryl] waiting in the wings to save the UK X Factor, if Tulisa doesn’t work out.”
The source also said Simon was keen to make sure that Cheryl wasn't going to sign up for rival show The Voice, when it launches on BBC one early next year.
The new reality talent show, which has taken the US by storm, is currently hunting top music stars including Robbie Williams and Adele for the panel.
“Simon wants to put a stop to any offers she’s had from the rival show," the insider commented.
It was reported last week that Cheryl had initially agreed to return to the UK version of the show, with Simon Cowell telling press he had offered her "a lot of money" so she could "return a hero". However once her axe from The X Factor USA went public, Cheryl backed out and began to ignore Simon's calls.
The source added: "Simon wants to be mates again.”