The X-Factor does not return to our screens until August and already the hype begins, with reports that Cheryl Cole has snubbed a £1million contract to return as a judge. The Girls Aloud singer, who is having great success as a solo artist, is one of the hottest properties in the UK entertainment industry and whoever is looking after her interests is doing a great job.
According to reports, the estranged wife of Ashley Cole, is having an affair with Will.I.am and her solo career is soaring, ensuring her profile is high enough to make the most of her bargaining power when she finally meets Simon Cowell's team to discuss her next pay-check.
It still has not been decided who will stand-in for Dannii Minogue while she is off on maternity leave, but Cheryl will not want it to be someone with the ability to outshine her. Of course, Simon Cowell might just throw a spanner in the works by attempting to do just that, but she is in a strong enough position to challenge such a move. Cheryl Cole's presence guarantees even more publicity for the show and the judging panel of Simon, Cheryl, Dannii and Louis Walsh worked well on the last series.