Simon Cowell isn’t one for mincing his words. As the X Factor 2014 initial auditions kick into action, the media mogul admits he’s chuffed singer Cheryl Cole will be joining him on the panel instead of Take That's Gary Barlow.
“The truth is, and I am not being rude, I wouldn’t hire him to run my record label,” said Cowell.
“Essentially that is what you are doing on The X Factor," he told the Mirror. "You have got to be wide-eyed and Cheryl, one of the main reasons she is coming back is, she is good at that.”
Cole was of course on the panel in 2010 – the year they formed One Direction. And in a further nod to her ability as a judge Cowell adds, “She is the one who really spotted Cher Lloyd.”
Barlow bowed out at the end of the last series, after three years with the show. But a Cowell-Barlow combo was seemingly never on the cards.
“Gary was seen as head judge and so am I,” says Cowell.
“I do believe I am the best person at spotting a potential star and making them work well on the show.”
While auditions have started, there are a few more weeks until successful candidates make it through to the in-room auditions with the judges. There are still two seats unconfirmed. Cowell is still seemingly intent on having Louis Walsh there. Names knocking about for the fourth seat include former Spice Girl Mel B, Black Eyed Peas star Fergie and recently Britain’s Got Talent judge Alesha Dixon.