Cheryl Cole has been confirmed as a judge for X Factor USA, and now ITV bosses are scrambling to find a celeb that will slot into the shoes she left behind on the UK show.
ITV has confirmed Cheryl Cole’s UK X Factor departure for the USA “with a pride-filled lump in the throat”.
With Geordie gem, Cheryl Cole joining X Factor boss Simon Cowell in the States, ITV television network bosses are now trying to deal with the double blow of having to replace their two most popular judges.
Yesterday it was confirmed Cheryl would be joining the USA judging panel, with Cowell saying: “I’m thrilled for Cheryl. She is massively excited about this show, and has been fantastic to work with.
“She is also a complete brat. Most importantly, this girl can spot talent.”
A statement on the official X Factor website read: “It’s with a pride-filled lump in our throat that today we announce Cheryl Cole’s departure from the UK version of The X Factor.”
A spokesman for ITV has said the UK judging panel line-up will be announced “in due course”, but whoever lands the job has big shoes to fill.
Cole has mentored the winning contestant twice during her three-year stint on the panel, while show creator Simon is widely regarded as the driving force behind the X Factor’s phenomenal success.
There is a real danger audiences will switch off after the pair’s departure, and ITV bosses are now scrambling to find skilled talent-spotters who will also generate interest in the show.
A number of names have been touted as possible replacements including Nicole Scherzinger, Noel Gallagher and The Saturdays singer star Frankie Sandford.
Former Spice Girl Mel B had been in initial talks to appear, but eventually decided to join the Australian version of the X Factor instead.
Lily Allen has denied being asked to join the show, while Gary Barlow remains one of the more credible names in the frame.
Host Dermot O’Leary recently discussed his sadness at Cheryl and Simon’s departure, saying: “We will miss them. We will have to up our game now. It will be a different show.”