X Factor 2014 judges: Simon Cowell will be back... will Cheryl Cole and Rita Ora join him?

Simon Cowell (Britain's Got Talent 2013)

Simon Cowell is all but confirmed to be back on The X Factor UK this year.

Reports this morning strongly suggest that the music mogul is set to announce his self-appointment to the panel within the next few weeks.

And according to the tabloids we could be seeing Cheryl Cole and Rita Ora both on a new look panel alongside Louis Walsh.

Gary Barlow and Sharon Osbourne have already both announced their departures while Nicole Scherzinger has hinted she'll too be leaving to focus on promoting her new album.

Cheryl judged on the series between 2008 and 2010 while Rita was a guest judge during auditions in 2011.

"Simon has been annoyed about how the show has fallen off people’s radars and lagged behind Strictly in the ratings — now he wants to fix it," a source blabbed today. “His return has been up in the air for some time — and ITV chiefs have been desperate for confirmation. They’ve had to watch as viewers deserted the show in his absence. But now he has confirmed he is back for good."

This supposed source, who sounds more in love with Simon than even himself, continued: “Without him on the panel the acts auditioning over the last few years have simply not been been as good. There is an allure to performing for Simon — a successful record producer — and without it some singers have decided not to bother."

They added to The Sun newspaper: “The show has also missed the spark as Simon effectively produces the programme as it goes along.

“If it’s lacking drama then he will create some in a flash.

Meanwhile another (different?) source told the Daily Mirror exactly the same thing.

So much for exclusives...

They commented: "Cowell is determined to get the show back to its best. He’ll sign the deal very soon but has told the team that he’s on board.

"Everyone’s over the moon.”

A spokesperson for Simon Cowell declined to comment on the speculation.

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