Pricey Spice: Simon Cowell bemoans Mel B’s X Factor fee

The former Spice Girl replaces Nicole Scherzinger on The X Factor tonight – and Cowell's none too happy with the bill

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Forget Scary Spice, Mel B appears to be Pricey Spice as Simon Cowell makes a dig about the cost of hiring her to cover for an absent Nicole Scherzinger on Saturday’s The X Factor. 

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The former judge – and Cowell’s fellow America’s Got Talent panellist – was drafted in for the first day of London auditions while Scherzy performed in Austria and Cowell is quick to tease her about her fee. 

“I expect good people,” Mel B says as she walks towards the audition room with Louis Walsh, Sharon Osbourne and Mr Cowell. “I haven’t flown over for nothing!”

“We know that, I got the bill,” quips a resigned-looking Cowell. 

It might have been OK if she was drafted in for the day they found the next big money spinner, but it doesn’t appear to be a vintage day. “Thanks for inviting me on this special day everyone!” she laughs after another wobbly warbler leaves the room. 

But Mel B may want to make the most of it, as Cowell goes on to tease that he didn’t want her anyway. 

FaceTiming fellow former Spice Girl Geri Horner, Cowell mocks: “Just so we’re clear for when I do the booking next time and I ask for the fun one: to make sure I get you, what do I actually say?”

But Ginger Spice isn’t playing ball: “I think you’ve got the best one!”

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See The X Factor Saturday and Sunday at 8:00pm on ITV