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Cheryl ready to quit X Factor for good

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    Posted: 29 May 2011 at 12:10

Cheryl Cole ready to walk out on X Factor for good

May 29 2011 by Lee Harpin, The People

CHERYL Cole was last night ready to walk away from the X Factor for good – despite being offered a staggering deal to rejoin its UK panel.

The singer, 27, still fuming over her axe from the American series, told Simon Cowell: “No, I’ve been treated so badly.”

Her move came as details emerged of her US sacking. Ruthless 5ft 2ins Fox TV ­executive Mike Darnell, known for his casual dress of snakeskin boots, ripped jeans and cowboy hat, ordered Cowell to ditch Cheryl after viewing her performances at auditions in Los Angeles.

Cowell is believed to have ­broken the news in a phone call to Cheryl, telling her: “I’m sorry, the network aren’t happy. They’re letting you go.”

Darnell, 49, had ­previously praised Cheryl as an “incredibly talented artist and style icon” but changed his mind after seeing preview tapes of the show.

The Fox boss, who had been tied up in high-level meetings for two weeks while filming went ahead, finally watched Cheryl in action.

Trouble

And after seeing the footage he ­immediately called Cowell with the message: “Cheryl must go.” Cowell then sent a message to a friend in London saying: “We’ve got big trouble here.” When his friend texted asking what the problem was, Cowell replied: “Cheryl.”

Later that week Cowell spoke to the judge in an emotional phone call, telling her the news. On the same day, Cheryl met Fox bosses to discuss her leaving the show.

Insiders say her £1.2million contract ­contained a clause meaning she could be ditched at any time.

Yesterday, in a day of frantic ­activity, ITV bosses pulled out all the stops to try to woo her back to the UK show by offering the “deal of all deals” – thought to be worth a massive £2.5million.

Bosses have promised her top billing ahead of judges Gary Barlow, Louis Walsh and Kelly Rowland, and possible newcomer Tulisa Contostavlos from N-Dubz.

And she can move into boss Cowell’s palatial dressing room. An X Factor source said: “Cheryl can have what she wants.

“If she wants Simon’s dressing room, she has been told it’s hers. She has also been guaranteed the top billing.

“Cheryl is in pieces over what happened in America but she has been told by Simon to get over her sacking and come back to the UK and be the top girl.”

Auditions start this Wednesday in Birmingham, so Cheryl will have to make the final decision by tomorrow.

But she is expected to turn down the role – and has told friends that she is excited at the prospect of having some time to herself.

One pal told The People: “You won’t get a better offer than the one she had today.

“There was a lot of money on the table. Cheryl usually does four jobs when ­everyone else does one, so she now can have some time to herself and be a normal person.

“She can have a life. She might even get a new boyfriend or a ­relationship. It would even give her a chance to have a family, which is something she has ­always dreamed of.”

Devastated Cheryl has hidden herself away after American telly chiefs warned Cowell their show might end up as a ratings disaster if she stayed. The People has learned that her mum Joan Callaghan, 51, was at the centre of negotiations with ITV bosses yesterday, with the star still too upset about last week’s sensational exit from the States.

Cheryl is seen as part of the X Factor ­family, but a senior insider last night insisted that the series was bigger than one person – and bosses were determined the show must go on.

They were excited about welcoming newcomers Kelly, Gary and Tulisa, believing they gave the show fresh faces and a new dynamic.

The source said: “The show is bigger than Cheryl. We want to make it as big and ­successful as possible so we are working on the premise that it will be the line-up we had before Cheryl came into the equation.

“It starts on Wednesday so we don’t have time for dillying and dallying.”

Friends of Cheryl confirmed she was ­“struggling to forgive” Cowell for the US farce.

One said yesterday: “Cheryl will never be able to completely forgive Simon.”

Cheryl was on the US judging panel ­alongside Paula Abdul, L.A. Reid and Cowell. Former Pussycat Doll Nicole Scherzinger has now replaced her.

Shocked

Fans were shocked when her axing was ­announced last Wednesday, but show sources in the States claim Cheryl was aware of concerns over her performance from the start of auditions in Los Angeles and Chicago.

One said: “Cheryl was uncomfortable on the panel. She admitted so herself. You could see it in her manner, and sometimes in her voice.”

But other insiders played down claims that her thick Geordie accent or her apparent lack of chemistry with Paula were key reasons.

A well-played source told The People: “There was an issue over confidence. Cheryl has been through a hard time since her marriage to Ashley Cole broke down.”

If Cheryl does turn down ITV chiefs, it will delight her cheating ex-husband Cole, 30.

The Chelsea footballer was ­distraught when Cheryl announced she was ­going to the States because it put a stop to any hope he had of them rekindling their relationship.



The People
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