Cheryl Cole has been reportedly dropped as a judge on US X Factor because of concerns American viewers would not understand her Geordie accent.
Reports also abound that Cole, a former Girls Aloud singer, was homesick and there was a “lack of chemistry” with fellow X Factor judge Paula Abdul.
The stateside version of Simon Cowell’s The X Factor was supposed to have been Cheryl Cole’s big US break and they were only weeks into filming the new show.
The X Factor was to air in the US in September.
Former Pussycat Doll member, Nicole Scherzinger, who had been lined up to present the US version of the talent show with Steve Jones, is the favourite to replace Cole.
Cheryl Cole’s departure is a blow to Cowell, who quit rival Simon Fuller’s American Idol to launch The X Factor on Rupert Murdoch’s Fox network.
Her return to the UK will spark speculation whether she will continue with her role as a judge on the ITV1 version of the show.
A source on the show said: “It hasn’t worked out. She’s homesick and wants to return to the UK. She’s had enough. Whether she ends up back on UK X Factor is open to speculation.”
Announcing her role as a judge on the show earlier this month, Cowell had said he was “thrilled” for Cole who he said was “massively excited”.
Fox’s president of alternative entertainment Mike Darnell had said: “Cheryl Cole has the whole X Factor package … Cheryl’s charm and chemistry with Simon have been a key part of the overwhelming success of The X Factor in the UK, and we can’t wait to welcome her to the US on our air.”
There was no comment from The X Factor, or Cole’s team.