As the X Factor heads to the US, is this the end of Ashley's family plans?


Out celebrating their friend Gary Barlow‘s wedding anniversary, Cheryl and Ashley Cole looked strained and uncomfortable together. And now we can reveal why.

Just 24 hours earlier, Simon Cowell announced that he’s taking The X Factor to the States next year – and in doing so, threw down the gauntlet to potential judges to join him.

If she’s chosen, Cheryl, 26, could realise her goal of becoming a global megastar 
- but that means reneging on 
a pact she made with Ashley, 29, to start a family this year.

Cheryls becoming worried that her husband’s running out of patience and it’s placing extra pressure on their marriage.

To stand any chance of landing the job, Cheryl will have to work flat out for the next 18 months before the show starts and ditch baby plans.

Our source tells us: ‘It’s a ticking time-bomb in their relationship because Ashley’s getting sick 
of waiting. He knows that even if he waits this time, there’ll always be other projects that Cheryl will want to chase.’

Last week her management announced that she’ll do a gruelling European campaign promoting her album 3 Words. This will extend to America, where she already has the backing of Black Eyed Peas frontman Will.I.Am, who produced her album.

Now the Girls Aloud singer 
is facing a tough dilemma. If she does win over Simon, then she couldn’t have a baby until 2012 at the earliest.

Our source says: ‘Even if she did find time to have a child, it would mean jetting in and out of America doing The X Factor.

One solution is for her mum Joan to be a full-time nanny, but Cheryl wouldn’t want to be a part-time mum. She wants to do it properly, so a baby would have to wait.’

It’s widely known among friends that Ashley‘s long been keen for a baby and has been badgering Cheryl ever since they were married in 2006.

He won’t be following his wife to America because he’s pledged his future to Chelsea and signed a four-year contract 
last September.

Our source says: ‘He’ll just have to get used to seeing 
even less of his wife. Cheryl‘s fiercely ambitious and will want to crack America at some point, even if she doesn’t get the X Factor job.’

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See the full story about Cheryl and Ashley Cole in Now magazine dated 25 January 2010 – out now!