Will America learn to understand Cheryl Cole?

Singer sent to voice coach after landing role on US 'X Factor'

When Simon Cowell touted Cheryl Cole as a judge on the American version of X Factor he praised her "great ability to communicate". Now the star must learn to curb her Geordie tongue after her role on the judging panel was finally confirmed.

Cole, 27, has been given a chance to break America after impressing executives at the Fox network with her "charm and charisma". But the Newcastle singer has been given a "hit list" of words to avoid and sent to a leading Hollywood voice coach, amid fears that her North-east accent may prove incomprehensible to viewers when the show launches in the US in the autumn.

US broadcasting rules require entertainment programmes to deliver "reliable information" and insiders say the network fears lawsuits if viewers can't make sense of Cole. Viewers and losing contestants could claim that they were misled because they could not understand what Cole had said.

Although Piers Morgan and Cat Deeley have successfully crossed over to American television, the US audience is not trusted to comprehend a strong regional brogue. Cole's fellow Geordies Ant and Dec employed an elocution teacher during their shortlived attempt to present a hit US television game show, Wanna Bet? in 2008.

A Susan Boyle interview on The Oprah Winfrey Show in 2009 was accompanied by subtitles, a fate that also befell Mike Leigh's Oscar-nominated film Secrets And Lies – set among working-class Londoners – and Trainspotting, Danny Boyle's celebrated adaptation of Irving Welsh's novel about Edinburgh heroin addicts.

Cole has already been told to avoid Geordie endearments such as "babe" and "pet" which have different meanings for US viewers. During auditions for the role, she was given an American lexicon, advising her to use words like "butt" instead of "bum" and "pants" for "trousers".

Cole is believed to have visited Bob Corff, a Hollywood voice specialist, who worked on the film Kick-Ass and helped Sharon Osborne cultivate a "posh" voice for her US television appearances. A relative unknown for such a high-profile US role, Cole's notoriety from a 2003 conviction for assaulting a black woman nightclub toilet attendant may follow her to Los Angeles.

Cecile Frot-Coutaz, US X Factor's executive producer, said: "Her empathy and passion for identifying and nurturing undiscovered talent has made her a huge hit with British audiences, and I have no doubt America will fall in love with her beauty, her accent and her incredible chemistry with Simon Cowell."

Cole, who signed a £500,000 deal, will appear alongside Cowell, record producer Antonio LA Reid and another, unannounced judge. Cowell, whose US commitments mean he won't be a judge on the next UK series, said: "I'm thrilled for Cheryl. She is massively excited about this show, and has been fantastic to work with. She is also a complete brat. Most importantly, this girl can spot talent."

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Arts and Entertainment
Christian Grey cradles Ana in the Fifty Shades of Grey film
filmFifty Shades of Grey trailer provokes moral outrage in US
Life and Style
The veteran poverty campaigner Sir Bob Geldof issues a stark challenge to emerging economies at the Melbourne HIV/Aids conference
Arts and Entertainment
Benedict Cumberbatch and John Malkovich talk Penguins of Madagascar at Comic-Con
comic-con 2014Cumberbatch fans banned from asking about Sherlock at Comic-Con
Arts and Entertainment
Chris Pratt stars in Guardians of the Galaxy
filmGuardians Of The Galaxy should have taken itself a bit more seriously, writes Geoffrey Macnab
Sir Chris Hoy won six Olympic golds - in which four events?
Life and Style
People may feel that they're procrastinating by watching TV in the evening
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Media

Campaign Manager

competitive: Progressive Recruitment: A leading marketing agency is currently ...

BI Analyst

competitive: Progressive Recruitment: A leading marketing agency in Central Lo...


£40000 - £55000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: DBA, London,...

Web / Digital Analyst - SiteCatalyst or Google Analytics

competitive: Progressive Recruitment: My client who are a leading publisher in...

Day In a Page

Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little
Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

Meet the US Army's shooting star

Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform