Dermot O’Leary may be making his X Factor comeback but judge Cheryl Fernandez-Versini will not be returning to the panel in 2016, she has confirmed.
“I have had such an amazing experience being a judge on The X Factor. I have learnt so much and enjoyed nurturing talent but I’ve missed making music and am excited to be recording again. I want to thank everybody I have worked with along the way, especially Simon who I love to bits. I hope the show continues to produce stars and I wish them all the best”, Cheryl said in an official statement.
It’s been suggested that the former Girls Aloud singer made the decision before show bosses could make it for her, but big boss Simon Cowell claims to totally have her back on this one.
“Cheryl and myself spoke about this. I totally understand her commitment to making more records. She has been amazing on the show and in the near future we will be working on other things together”, Cowell said.
Cheryl isn’t the first star to leave the series to focus on their music this year, though. Olly Murs gave a similar reason for his departure, which could be seen to have paved the way for O’Leary’s return to Saturday nights on ITV. Could Cheryl have found herself in a similar boat?
Rumours are flying that Cowell’s been in talks with Louis Walsh and Sharon Osbourne, so with Cheryl’s departure now confirmed is a much coveted Simon, Louis, Sharon, Rita reunion on the cards?
Only time – and Rita Ora’s X Factor fate – will tell.