Simon Cowell has confirmed that the judging line-up for The X Factor USA will need to be finalised by the end of this week.

Speaking at the launch of his new ITV1 gameshow Red or Black?, Simon admitted that, while contracts were still to finalised, the full judging panel would be required by Friday, when filming is due to begin.

Simon told reporters: “No contracts are signed yet. Well, I’m filming on Friday, so [they should be] soon. Otherwise it’s just going to be me.

When asked if that meant we would know by Friday, who would be on the judging panel, he said: “Yes, you will, you have to.”

And when quizzed on whether the panel was his dream line-up, Simon teased: “A dream… a nightmare… it’s a similar thing.”

But he would not reveal if singer Cheryl Cole had landed a role on the panel.

Simon added that he was excited about shows like The X Factor and Red or Black?

“We’re all up for this. We want to make ‘big event’ shows. I think things have got a bit drab at the moment, a bit boring. You guys need something to write about, viewers need something to get excited about.

“And that’s what we’re doing. We’re taking some risks. We’re going to give it a go. And as a British company, I’m very proud that these shows are going to be sold all over the world.”