The X Factor winner has special bond with mentor

Alexandra Burke has remained close to Cheryl Cole since they first met on The X Factor.

The Girls Aloud star, 26, led the Hallelujah singer to victory on the ITV show last year.

‘I’m very open with her and she is with me,’ says Alexandra, 21.

‘I tell her lots of things I wouldn’t even tell my sister.’

But Alexandra is still a little intimidated by boss Simon Cowell, 49.

‘That man is the nicest man on earth,’ she tells Marie Claire. ‘He rings me, and I’m like,”You’re Simon Cowell – why are you ringing my phone?”‘

Alexandra‘s new single Bad Boys hits the shops on 12 October.

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SEE PICTURES The X Factor 2009: The final 24>>

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Lorraine Crowther