Cheryl is set to start ‘final talks’ to return to The X Factor, it’s been reported.
The former judge – who appeared on the show between 2008 and 2010 and then again in 2014 and 2015 – is rumoured for another comeback.
Speculation that Cheryl could be returning has been ongoing for months already, even if The X Factor won’t return to TV until the autumn.
But The Sun says that X Factor boss Simon Cowell is due to meet with ITV this month to formalise plans.
What will be the 15th series is expected to see more changes beyond just the judges, following a new live show format last year.
“Cheryl is the top choice and she is keen to come on board,” a source said this weekend. “But as yet, the conversations taking place have been unofficial, because we can’t begin official talks with anyone until the show’s schedule is agreed.
“The bosses need to confirm how long the series will run for and what time it will air each week.
“Once those decisions are made and agreed, the bosses will have the green light to start talking to Cheryl officially and discuss contracts with her.”
The insider claims that talks with Cheryl are seen as a “formality” and that the chances of her returning are “about 85 per cent.”
As for what Cheryl’s potential return will mean for the current judges – Louis Walsh, Sharon Osbourne and Nicole Scherzinger – remains to be seen.
But last year it was suggested that Cheryl could become a ‘fifth judge’ on the show.
Show boss Simon Cowell teased a potential mega line up for the 2018 series.
“Nothing’s a done deal and I do like this panel. But the good news is that now more people want to do the show than before,” Simon said of last year’s line up. “Is Cheryl keen to come back? She is, yes — I guess she is.”
Simon told The Sun on Sunday newspaper: “In the past I’ve had to beg people to do the show, and it wasn’t always that easy. People would do it for a season, and say, ‘Right, I’m not coming back.’
“But now it’s easier to do the show, it’s much more fun. Maybe I’ll have five people on the panel.”
A spokesperson for the show commented: “No formal decisions have been made.”