X Factor judge Cheryl has supported Simon Cowell following the loss of his mother Julie

Cheryl and Simon Cowell might have had an up and down relationship in the past but these days they’re closer than ever before.

The sad death of Simon’s beloved mum Julie last month had a profound effect on the music mogul, who admitted in a statement that he was ‘heartbroken’ about her passing, and it also appears to have brought him closer to Cheryl.

Simon, 55, bravely returned to work on The X Factor just a few days after Julie died and Cheryl, 32, admits that the dynamic between them has slightly changed since.

‘Me and Simon are still rowing, but it’s playful. He knows which buttons to press,’ the singer reveals.

‘But it’s been a different circumstance this last couple of weeks, unfortunately, so it’s been more banter than bickering.

‘I love him dearly. I have a huge amount of respect for him and it’s growing at the moment.’

The loss of Julie also affected Cheryl’s relationship with former X Factor judge Louis Walsh, with whom she recently had a falling-out, as it prompted her to make up with him.

‘We’d had a bit of a spat. But with everything that’s gone on with Simon, I thought, “It’s not worth it”,’ the former Girls Aloud star says.

‘I texted Louis, like “I know you’re going to be affected by this” because they’ve known each other forever.

‘I said, “This is nonsense what’s going on between you and I. I wanted to say it’s forgotten about”. He gave me a really nice message back so I think we’ve made up.’

Awww, we’re glad to hear it Chezza!

Simon is clearly touched by how Cheryl reacted to Julie’s death and has praised his fellow X Factor panellist for being there for him when it happened.

‘When you go through a tough time in your life, you see who your real friends are,’ he tells the Mirror.

‘Cheryl was there. She was incredible – and that’s the side that maybe she doesn’t show to many people. But she is very compassionate and genuinely is a real friend.

‘You don’t get that very often in this business.’

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See how the X Factor panel has changed over the years…