The two TV shows always go head to head
Music mogul Simon, 58, is thought to be counting on former X Factor judge Cheryl to remain loyal to him and snub the rival BBC show when it returns in September.
A source revealed: ‘There’s a massive race on for who can land Cheryl to perform her new material. All the big shows want her as they know her return to music will be one of the biggest music moments of the year and will draw in millions of viewers.
‘Simon is doing everything in his power to make sure they box her off — it would be a massive embarrassment if Strictly got her with an offer she can’t refuse.’
They added to The Sun: ‘He’s told her he will throw his weight behind her new album 100 per cent regardless, as they are mates, but he expects her to show her loyalty by choosing X Factor.’
Simon may be worried that he might not be able to count on Chezza’s loyalty, as the pair famously fell out when Simon sacked her from the US X Factor in 2011. Explaining his reasons for letting her go, Simon said he ‘didn’t recognise her’ as she had ‘lost her confidence.’
They didn’t speak for years and Simon even said that Cheryl sent him a long text saying she’d never forgive him, but the pair later made up and are now good pals again.
Cheryl returned to The X Factor last year at the Judge’s Houses round of auditions, after quitting as a judge in 2016.
She also made her first appearance since her split from Liam Payne at Simon’s Syco summer party in London last month, so the odds are looking pretty good for him…
Words by Robyn Morris