Are Sharon Osbourne and Simon Cowell “building bridges” for her X Factor comeback?

Was there more to Osbourne’s appearance on Saturday Night Takeaway than we thought? Is Louis Walsh right? Will 2016 see the return of Mrs O…?

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Could Louis Walsh’s idea that Sharon Osbourne should return to The X Factor be more than just a suggestion?

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Walsh has insisted in several interviews that the ideal 2016 judging line-up would include himself, Simon Cowell, Nicole Scherzinger and Mrs O.  

There’s been no official word that any talks have taken place between the former judge and ITV. But Osbourne did just appear on Ant and Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway, and joining in the Who Shot Simon Cowell? sketch might have been more than just a bit of fun.  

“Simon and Sharon have always had a bit of a love/hate relationship. Her doing that maybe suggests they’re building bridges,” a source told RadioTimes.com.

The mood certainly seems jovial, Osbourne’s part in the comedy skit being to pretend to be upset by Cowell’s attempted murder.

“It’s a tragedy, a total tragedy, Simon Cowell… survived a shooting. Such a shame!”

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It’s what pals do, right? Joke about death…

Cowell and Osbourne haven’t sat on The X Factor panel together for almost ten years.

After originally leaving in 2007, Mrs O returned in 2013 – mentoring Sam Bailey to victory – but at the time it was Gary Barlow in the head judge spot.

If Osbourne were to return it would seem like something of a U-turn. In 2014 she told US chat show host Conan O’Brien she’d had it with people standing in front of her and singing, dubbing reality music shows “boring, boring, boring”.

But what’s wrong with changing your mind, eh? And if both her and Mr Walsh were to return, we know we’d be in for a series filled with mischievous laughing, a lot of winding up of Cowell (regardless of how many bridges have been built in the meantime) and maybe even some more walking into doors. Bring it on!  

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The X Factor returns to ITV later this year