Leona Lewis has revealed she would like to return to The X Factor as a judge.

The singer, who won The X Factor in 2006, said she still watches the show and would like to emulate Cheryl Cole and become a mentor for the talent show hopefuls.

Leona told The Sun: “I still love the X Factor. I Sky Plus every episode. Maybe I could go back on it as a judge. Not yet, but in a few years. But I think I’d be a bit lenient — I’d be crying every few seconds, I swear.”

The 23-year-old singer’s hit song Bleeding Love has topped the charts in 30 countries and made her the first British female solo artist to have a number one single in America in more than 20 years.

But the star says that winning The X Factor has not been solely responsible for her success.

She says: “I think it’s important for people to know I worked so hard before the show.

“The X Factor didn’t make me. It helped me a lot. I’m grateful I got the opportunity and for all their support but before that I’d done a lot of work demoing and playing smoky pubs and clubs.

“A lot of people give you flak for going on a talent show but I’d worked the circuit and worked so hard for years. Since I was so small it’s always been my dream to sing.”