The new series has only just started but Cheryl Cole and Simon Cowell's relationship is already as fiery as ever

X Factor judges Simon Cowell and Cheryl Cole have a history of trading barbed comments, and the new show is no exception.

Despite being desperate to have Cheryl, 31, back, it’s clear Simon, 54, is more than happy to continue where they left off before he sacked the singer days after she joined The X Factor USA.

The music mogul has previously called her style of critiquing and advising the acts ‘unnecessary and annoying’. Here are our favourite cutting exchanges so far this series:

1. Even before the new series of The X Factor had returned to our screens, Simon was getting the digs in. Referring to Cheryl as ‘a beautiful girl, stunning’ he then ruined it by adding that she’s ‘not really my type.’ Um, REALLY?

2. Simon continued his back handed compliments of Cheryl by referring to the fact that she had put on weight when she made her short-lived appearance as a judge on X Factor USA. He said: ‘When I saw her I didn’t recognise her. Literally. The hair and outfit were crazy. Just totally crazy…We then did the first day of auditions, and she was nervous, shy, not in her comfort zone. She’d put on a bit of weight, but not loads. That wasn’t the issue.’

3. After dismissing comments Simon made about her weight at a press conference ahead of the launch, Cheryl made her position for the upcoming series clear.
She said: ‘I heard this rumour and I think a gentleman should never speak about a woman’s age or weight but that’s only if you’re educated on how to treat a woman.

‘So, unlucky for him. And who listens to Simon Cowell these days anyway. Does anybody? I don’t listen to him anymore.’

4. Simon‘s next dig came on the opening show of X Factor after aspiring singer Jale imitated Cheryl singing her hit single Fight For This Love – badly. Cheeky Simon said the resemblance between Cheryl and the singer was ‘uncanny’ but added: ‘You’ve got to work a little on the choreography, but the vocals were spot on.’ Ouch.

5. During the latest round of auditions Simon also took a pop at Cheryl as she advised a young hopeful on her wardrobe choices, asking her: ‘And just how many auditions have you done?’ Cheryl hit back: ‘I am gonna give him a slap. Shut your cakehole.’

6. However successful his putdowns, Simon appears to be a little rattled by the popularity of the Crazy, Stupid, Love singer who has been serenaded several times on the show already. He said to co-judge Louis Walsh: ‘Sometimes I feel like I work for Cheryl.’

We look forward to more fireworks this weekend!

* X Factor is on ITV1 on Saturday and Sunday at 8pm

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Donna McConnell