Cheryl Cole is making a good recovery after being struck down with malaria, according to Simon Cowell.

The 27-year-old X Factor judge contracted the disease on a trip to Tanzania last month and is recovering at a private clinic after leaving intensive care.

Speaking on Tuesday night at the launch of a charity to help burns victims, Cowell said: “I had a text from her yesterday. She is on the mend and looking forward to coming back to work. She is making a good recovery.”

Cole had to pull out of the final auditions and judging the boot camp stage of the forthcoming series of the talent show because of the illness, and Cowell said he wanted to make sure she did not return to the series too early and risk becoming ill again.

The X Factor supremo also spoke of the impact a former model who was badly disfigured in an acid attack made on him as he was unveiled as patron of her new charity.

He described Katie Piper as an ‘inspiration’ as he backed her plan to set up a specialist burns rehabilitation centre offering medical treatment and emotional support.

Katie, 26, was an aspiring TV presenter when she had sulphuric acid thrown in her face as she walked along a street in Golders Green, north-west London, in March 2008.

She was left fighting for her life after obsessive martial arts fan Daniel Lynch raped her and then arranged for another man to throw the corrosive liquid after she tried to break off their relationship.

Cowell, who contacted her after being moved by a documentary about her, spoke at the launch of the Katie Piper Foundation in west London.

He said: “There was a point halfway through when you were led to believe that she was not going to leave her house and that her life was going to be ruined. Then towards the end it was a much happier ending insomuch as Katie decided that this was not going to destroy her, it was actually going to make her.”