Simon Cowell wants The Voice's Will.i.am to lure Cheryl Cole back to The X Factor!

Cheryl Cole and Gary Barlow (X Factor 2012)Simon Cowell is apparently so desperate to get Cheryl Cole back as a judge on The X Factor that he wants to poach Will.i.am from rival show The Voice!

The media mogul fell out with the Girls Aloud singer when she was dropped from the American X Factor last year amid concerns over her accent.

But according to The Mirror, Simon wants to win her back to boost the ratings of the UK version - which have fallen to their lowest level in five years - and he believes her close friend and mentor Will.i.am could make it happen.

Will is currently a coach on BBC One's The Voice UK - but bosses hope that if they get him to jump ship, he'll persuade Cheryl to join him.

An insider told the paper: "We need to do something dramatic and this would be a coup. It would give us the best judging line-up in X Factor history.

"One of the problems this year has been the judges so that’s what we need to address. Will would be the best person on the planet to persuade Cheryl that one last hurrah could be fun. Though we realise it would be expensive."

The report comes after it was confirmed that the Black Eyed Peas star will appear on the current series of X Factor USA, as a guest at judges' houses.

He is also said to be working with Simon on a new talent contest for technology entrepreneurs.

Despite previously denying she'd return, Cheryl was seen on last Saturday's X Factor, helping Gary Barlow in choosing his acts for the live shows. She insisted: "I am doing this for Gary as he’s my friend and he asked me to do it."

Earlier this year, Simon successfully lured Alesha Dixon from Strictly Come Dancing to his other show, Britain's Got Talent.

The X Factor continues tonight at 8.00pm on ITV1.

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