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    Posted: 18 Apr 2010 at 12:27


Cheryl Cole gets huge rise...Dannii Minogue gets huge snub



X FACTOR boss Simon Cowell is set to give pregnant Dannii Minogue a nasty bump - by SLASHING her pay by £300,000 and handing rival judge Cheryl Cole a £700,000 RISE.

It means Cheryl would earn £1.7million for the next series while Dannii gets just £700,000.

Last year the two girls and fellow judge Louis Walsh were all paid the same - £1million each.

But we can reveal that Cowell wanted to SACK Aussie star Dannii and had to relent because of her popularity and pregnancy.

Simon's brother and confidante Tony told us: "He's always the first person who wants to change it up. That's part of his genius. He doesn't let a show get stale.


"I think he did want to change the panel this year. But I think he might have mis-read the appeal and popularity of Dannii."

And an X Factor source admitted Cowell felt pressured into re-signing Dannii.

"Simon simply didn't realise how popular Dannii had become with viewers since last year's series," the insider said.

"Even when she became pregnant, he wanted to find a way to ease her into a lesser role on the show.

"But Dannii will only come back if she's on the judging panel, and Simon knew it would be impossible to remove a pregnant woman. There would have been a huge backlash." In February the BBC sparked a row when it dropped pregnant Denise Van Outen from the judging panel of its talent show Over The Rainbow.

CUT-PRICE DEAL: Rival Dannii

Last week we revealed how Dannii, 38, was poised to return to X Factor after positive talks - despite being due to give birth during the series.

She is set to miss the audition and bootcamp stages as she'll be in Australia on maternity leave - but will return to judge the finalists. It means she would be working for around four months - at a rate of £175,000 a month.

Cheryl, 26, would be working the full six months, for £283,333 a month. And Louis is in line to get a total £1.6million - £600,000 more than last year but £100,000 less than Cheryl.

Simon gets £6million a year for judging and producing X Factor and Britain's Got Talent.

The other three judges' contracts are now being finalised, and Cheryl is in the last stages of negotiations, an ITV source revealed. It would be her third series - and she'll be hoping for a third win after mentoring the most recent champs Joe McElderry and Alexandra Burke.

Our insider told us: "Signing Cheryl is our absolute priority.

"She's a huge part of the show and she doesn't need to do it now her solo singing career is so successful. She deserved to be rewarded and we needed to make sure she definitely re-signed. If we lost viewers it would cost us a lot of money."

How much other big names earn

Cheryl had said she might not return as she wanted to start a family with her football star husband Ashley.

But in February she announced their split over his cheating. A source close to her said: "Now Cheryl's single she's concentrating on her work life, and The X Factor will be a big part of that.

"She will take a pay increase but that's not why she does the show - she's not someone driven by money at all."


Rumours of rifts between Cheryl and Dannii have been rife since the Girls Aloud star replaced Sharon Osbourne in 2008. Dannii could still walk if she is unhappy with her deal.

A source close to her said: "It's no secret Cheryl and Dannii are not close. And things will only get more strained with such a big difference in pay.

"Bosses want her back, she wants to come back - but it's not a done deal. She'll need to be happy with the financial offer on the table."

If Dannii does say no, guest judges like Spice Girl Mel B - who will be tried out during the audition stages - could replace her permanently.

The insider said: "It's very likely Dannii will end up back on the show but if she doesn't, there'll be other options."

GOT a story? Email features@notw.co.uk or call 0207 782 1001

MY BOY: Sue and Ashley

The Cole-d shoulder

LOVE-split Cheryl has fallen out with her mother-in- law - who was her closest link to husband Ashley.

The singer cut contact with Sue Cole over rows that his family did not control his cheating behaviour.

A close source said: "Cheryl and Sue used to be very close but they don't talk any more.

"That's not good news for Ashley because Sue is his biggest cheerleader - and Cheryl used to listen very closely to what she said."

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