The smile that says she's back? Cheryl Cole sparks rumours she is returning to The X Factor after meeting up with Simon Cowell
But Cheryl Cole has ignited rumours she could be returning the the UK version of the show after she was spotted arriving at Simon Cowell's Los Angeles mansion on Wednesday night.
The 29-year-old singer reportedly spent three-and-a-half hours at the music mogul's Beverly Hills home, with the pair believed to be holding secret talks about the possibility of the Girls Aloud star returning to the panel of the British show.
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The comeback kid? Cheryl Cole has sparked rumours she is returning to the UK X Factor after she was spotted arriving at Simon Cowell's Los Angeles mansion for 'secret talks' on Wednesday night
Happier times: The pair got on well before Cowell unceremoniously axed Cheryl from The X Factor USA
Simon is said to be 'desperate' to get Cheryl back on board as the 'saviour' of the show after seeing ratings plummet this series, with an average of 8.2 million viewers tuning in to Saturday night's episode.
This stands in stark comparison to the 19.4 million who tuned in to see Cheryl and Simon in the 2010 final, which saw Matt Cardle crowned winner.
And after admitting the UK show has 'lost its way',the 53-year-old TV boss is said to be prepared to offer the Geordie beauty whatever she wants in terms of money.
A source told The Sun newspaper: 'The money on the table would be a fortune — at least double what she got last time. She could have what she wanted.'
And Cheryl certainly looked as if she meant business as she arrived in Los Angeles for a 'catch up' with her old pal, looking effortlessly chic in a leather skirt, fierce spike-detail shoe boots and a white and orange checked sweater.
A source close to Cowell told MailOnline: 'They have met a few times in the last 18 months and have remained in contact. They were just shooting the breeze and catching up.'
To make way for Cheryl on the panel, Simon is allegedly keen to get rid of Tulisa Contostavlos after her wild behaviour - including a sex tape and public spats with her current beau Danny Simpson's ex-girlfriends - caused the show unwelcome attention.
She means business! The 29-year-old singer certainly looked determined as she arrived at Los Angeles LAX Airport ahead of her meeting with the music mogul
Turning things around: Cowell is said to be keen for Cheryl to replace Tulisa Contostavlos on the panel of the hit ITV show
While Simon would love to return to the British series himself, his involvement on the US show would make it 'incredibly difficult'.
A source added to The Sun: 'He doesn’t want to see X Factor going down the way it is and he thinks Cheryl is the next best thing to him.
'Simon wants to get rid of Tulisa so this meeting will be part and parcel of that.'
And Tulisa herself explained it would be 'amazing' if Cheryl did make a return to the series, admitting her judging role is putting pressure on her solo music career.
Speaking on ITV1's Daybreak on Friday morning, she said: 'I don’t know anything about it, but I think that would be amazing. Obviously I love Cheryl to bits but I don’t know anything about that.
'It does put more pressure on you, definitely. But it's just a case of if you let the pressure get to you.'
Making up: Simon sensationally axed Cheryl from the panel of The X Factor USA in 2011 after just four rounds of auditions
Dressed to impress: Cheryl looked chic in a black leather skirt, fierce spike-detail shoe boots and an orange and white checked sweater
Meanwhile, Simon's spokesperson, Max Clifford, admitted the music mogul 'thinks a lot of Cheryl'.
He explained: 'It was him that gave her the break on X Factor in England and America. He wants to rebuild the relationship.'
Simon sensationally axed Cheryl from the US version of the show 18 months ago to make way for Nicole Scherzinger, and although he later offered her a return to the UK panel, she snubbed his offer.
He said at the time: 'The hardest thing to accept is that everyone has painted me as a monster because I embarrassed her, but the truth was I was protecting her. I just want people to be in the best place at the right time.
Preparing: The Girls Aloud star looked as though she was deep in thought as she arrived at the music mogul's home in a blacked-out vehicle
'I'm on my way, pet': Cheryl could have been texting her 'frenemy' Simon to notify him of her imminent arrival
'Secret talks': Simon and Cheryl were said to be 'catching up' at the home of the TV boss
'The overall feeling was that she was slightly out [of] her comfort zone in America, compared to what she was in the UK.
'If she had accepted my original offer, she would have made a sensational return and would have understood she was more comfortable in the UK than the US.'
Cheryl made a brief return to the UK show earlier this year when she assisted Gary Barlow at the Judges' Houses stage of the competition.
It's showtime! Cheryl's car was pictured making its way into Simon's home
But after Cowell tweeted 'Welcome back, Cheryl', she put the record straight, writing in response: 'I saw Simon’s tweet. I’m not doing this for him. I’m doing it for Gary. He’s my friend and he asked me to do it.'
And although the pair were once close friends, Cheryl recently joked they are now 'frenemies'.
She said: 'I do talk to him every now and again. We're frenemies.'
A representative for Cheryl Cole declined to comment when approached by MailOnline.
'I don't know anything': In spite of the claims, Tulisa seemed to be in good spirits as she appeared on ITV1's Daybreak on Friday morning, admitting it would be 'amazing' if Cheryl returned to the panel
As they were: Cheryl and Simon on the panel for The X Factor
Facing the boot? The current UK X Factor panel (L-R) Gary Barlow, Nicole Scherzinger, Tulisa Contostavlos and Louis Walsh
VIDEO: X Factor judge Tulisa tells Daybreak that she would love to work with Cheryl...
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