Simon Cowell drops Cheryl Cole's married name

Simon Cowell introduced Cheryl Cole by her maiden name at X Factor auditions this week - fuelling speculation that she may dump her married name.

The 26-year-old Girls Aloud star filed for divorce from England player Ashley Cole last month following allegations of cheating.

And at Monday's London auditions for The X Factor, Cowell told the audience: "And this is Cheryl... Tweedy."

A spokeswoman for the show added that it was a "joking" reference.

She said: "Simon did jokingly introduce her to the audience as Cheryl Tweedy, but that is not part of the show."

And a spokesman for the singer said the matter had not been resolved, dismissing Cowell's reference as "banter".

He said: "No decision has been made on Cheryl's name. There was no confirmation at The X Factor. Banter is not confirmation."

It was the first time Cole had been officially introduced in public by her maiden name since her split from the Chelsea star.

The Fight For This Love star has a tattoo on the back of her neck with the words "Mrs C".