Cheryl Fernandez-Versini confirms she is quitting The X Factor to 'make music'

Nick Grimshaw has also left the judging panel leaving two seats empty

Jess Denham
Tuesday 05 April 2016 09:25 BST
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Cheryl first left The X Factor in 2010 before returning after a public feud with Simon Cowell in 2014
Cheryl first left The X Factor in 2010 before returning after a public feud with Simon Cowell in 2014 (Getty)

Cheryl Fernandez-Versini has quit The X Factor to spend more time “making music”.

The former Girls Aloud singer issued a statement confirming the widespread rumours that she was set to step down.

“I’ve missed making music,” it read. “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.”

Simon Cowell has already responded to the news, reassuring Cheryl that he “totally” supports her decision. “Cheryl and myself spoke about this,” he said. “I totally understand her commitment to making more records. In the near future we will be working on other things together.”

Simon Cowell and Cheryl Fernandez-Versini on her return to The X Factor in 2014
Simon Cowell and Cheryl Fernandez-Versini on her return to The X Factor in 2014 (Radio Times)

Cheryl previously left The X Factor in 2010 after judging the UK talent show for two years. She went on to be named as a judge on the US version but was memorably sacked by Cowell before the series even aired, leading to a public feud. She was invited to join the UK show again in the UK in 2014 but falling ratings have since led many to argue that it should be put it to bed.

Despite this, ITV confirmed recently that both The X Factor and variety show Britain’s Got Talent are set to continue “into 2017 and beyond”.

Last year’s judge, BBC Radio 1’s Nick Grimshaw, has also revealed that he will not be returning next series. “What’s really good about X Factor is watching it at your house with your friends and having a curry,” he joked in February. “When you’re there, there’s no curry. Simon promised me curry.”

Presenters Caroline Flack and Olly Murs will be replaced by long-term former host Dermot O’Leary, but it remains unknown whether chart-topper Rita Ora will be back on the judging panel.

One Direction’s Louis Tomlinson is hotly-tipped to take a seat, as are original judges Sharon Osbourne and Louis Walsh.

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