X Factor singer Cher Lloyd has a boyfriend she has kept secret from Simon Cowell, the Sun reveals.

The 17-year-old rapper was reportedly introduced to “Essex Socialite” Karim Roundi by fellow contestant Paije Richardson during one of the earlier shows.

According to one insider Cher and Karim “hooked up properly” after the X Factor final a few weeks later.

X Factor winner Matt Cardle makes an enemy – Cher Lloyd

“They’re besotted with each other. He’s been saying he wants to move in with her as she’s moving to London for her music,” the source said.

Booted out of the X Factor during the final, which saw her perform a duet with the Black Eyed Peas will.i.am, Cher Lloyd was allegedly snapped up by Simon Cowell and signed to his SyCo record label.

The reality TV tycoon apparently prefers his talent to be single so they are easier to market to the fickle public.

The Sun claims that there are fears that Roundi’s legendary partying style could distract Lloyd from her career.

Diminutive Cher Lloyd was seen by many as the plucky outsider in the X Factor and brought a certain amount of urban edginess to the competition.

She is currently working on her debut album in the US.