X Factor: Cheryl Cole confirms return with photo of Simon Cowell

Published Tuesday, Mar 11 2014, 00:02 GMT  |  By  |  Add comment
Cheryl Cole has returned to X Factor, it has been confirmed.

After weeks - or, really, years of speculation - it was confirmed by both Cheryl and Simon Cowell on Monday night (10 March) that the former Girls Aloud star has agreed to return to the judging panel.

Cheryl confirmed the news via an Instagram picture of herself and Simon play fighting (what's new?), adding the caption: "GUESS WHAT!!.. I'm baaaacccckkkkk!!!! #iMayActuallyRingHisNeck #XFactor2014 #leggooo."

Meanwhile, Simon shared the news in a series of tweets, saying simply: "It's official. Cheryl is back."

He then joked, "Be careful what you wish for!" before concluding: "Most importantly she is a brilliant judge of talent."

Cheryl's post on Instagram was favourited more than 50,000 times, while Simon's tweet was retweeted nearly 10,000 times in just one hour.

Seems there are a lot of happy X Factor fans out there then!

Cheryl was a judge on X Factor until 2011 when she left the UK version to follow Simon to America for the US version. Unfortunately, her Stateside adventure was cut short when she was axed from the role just a few days after auditions began.

Cheryl Cole at the 'The X Factor' Auditions at Galen Center.
Los Angeles, California - 08.05.11

© WENN / Nikki Nelson

Cheryl on her first day of auditions for US X Factor in LA.

However, it emerged earlier this year that X Factor mogul Simon was working on getting Cheryl back on our screens.

"I think she'd be crazy not to come back, but you never know with her," he told Reveal of Cheryl. "I'm hopeful that we can do something, but people get cold feet and it's a big big commitment, so we'll have to wait and see."

He added: "Cheryl hasn't been on TV for about three years. The person I met recently, she looks better and is in a much better space than I've seen her before. She's a really good judge and that's the most important thing."

Cheryl Cole posts photo of Simon Cowell and herself on X Factor as Throwback Thursday choice, 13 February 2014

© Instagram / @ladyccole

Cheryl hinted at a return by posting a Throwback Thursday photo of herself and Simon last month.

Cheryl had also hinted at a return when she posted a Throwback Thursday photo on 13 February, showing herself and Simon Cowell together on the X Factor panel.

One Instagram follower wrote, "Oh is this chezza giving us a little hint she's coming bk to xfactor?? (sic)", another said: "Is this a sign bout anything?;) (sic)."

As well as Cheryl returning to the judging panel, the upcoming 11th series will mark Simon's return following his decision to quit the US X Factor. In February, he said: "I'm absolutely thrilled to be returning to The X Factor UK. It's been three years since I last judged the competition and I'm excited to find a global superstar again."

Meanwhile, the status of the other X Factor judges for the new series is still unclear.

Gary Barlow, Nicole Scherzinger, Sharon Osbourne, Louis Walsh - 'The X Factor' final TV show, Wembley Arena, London, Britain - 15 Dec 2013

© Rex Features / Tom Dymond / Thames

The X Factor 2013 panel: Gary Barlow, Nicole Scherzinger, Sharon Osbourne and Louis Walsh.

Both series ten judges Gary Barlow and Sharon Osbourne have confirmed they will not be returning, while Louis Walsh has gone back and forth on whether he'll be around.

It's been widely reported, meanwhile, that Nicole Scherzinger has also chosen to bow out in order to focus on her music. While she hasn't said anything, her exit was seemingly confirmed by Simon on 14 February when he tweeted: "Nicole will always be a part of the X Factor family. Now signed to Sony as an artist. Thank you Nicole for everything."

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