X Factor 2017: Simon Cowell brands Cheryl return rumours "bulls**t"

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Simon Cowell has dismissed rumours that Cheryl could be back on The X Factor.

There had been reports that X Factor boss Simon was keen to persuade the former judge to appear at judges' houses on the new series in the autumn.

It would be Cheryl's first TV appearance since giving birth to her first child Bear with boyfriend Liam Payne.

A source told heat magazine this week: "Simon knows having Cheryl on the X Factor will be TV gold and viewing figures will go through the roof, as everyone will tune in to see what she looks like and how she's changed since becoming a mum."

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The insider added: "He's putting no pressure on her to make a decision yet. However, he has also said she can have whatever she wants and that everything can fit around her.

"Simon's told her she can bring Bear with her so she doesn't have to leave him, as well as her mum or Liam, who can look after him while she's filming."

But Simon has branded the reports "bulls**t".

He told the Daily Mirror newspaper: "I haven’t spoken to her in six months.”

While Cheryl looks unlikely to be there, it's been suggested that X Factor judges' houses this year could be filmed at Downton Abbey's Highclere Castle.

Producers are reportedly planning to hold this year's final contestant selection at the iconic venue in Hampshire.

The Sun on Sunday newspaper says that the popular location could be the backdrop for Simon and his category.

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"The show producers were keen to do something a bit different for Simon’s house this year and Highclere Castle was suggested," a source explained.

The source added that Simon's actual house in LA is the "only other option" but producers were keen not to use it again after it last appeared on the show in 2014.

The X Factor returns to TV later this year.

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