Cheryl Cole’s return to The X Factor judging panel appears to be a step closer after she was reported to have had lunch with Simon Cowell.

According to the Sunday Mirror the former Girls Aloud singer virtually sealed the deal for her comeback, after flying to London from Los Angeles for just 24 hours in order to meet with the mogul and show bosses.

Reports suggest she could pocket an impressive £1.5m pay day to return to the panel alongside Simon, who will be back on the show in 2014.

“Her return is now 99 per cent concluded,” a source told the paper. “The meeting was a case of tying up some loose ends and things went really well.

“Now Simon and show producers are just waiting on Cheryl’s confirmation. Everyone is really excited about the idea of having her back on the show.”

Simon also hinted that Cheryl’s return to the show was a done deal earlier this week at the Britain’s Got Talent auditions in London.

“I am hopeful we can do something,” said the new dad as he arrived at Hammersmith Apollo.

“She still has a poker face at the moment but we both need each other – Cheryl needs the show and we need her. She would be crazy to turn it down.”

Cheryl originally quit the series in 2010 to join the panel of the US version of X Factor, but was dropped in favour of Nicole Scherzinger after just four days of filming.

The line-up for the next series still remains unconfirmed, with Rita Ora being tipped to join the judges, while Louis Walsh looks likely to return in spite of saying he would quit.