Spice Girl Mel B is being tipped to replace Sharon Osbourne on the judging panel of The X Factor, according to the papers.

The News Of The World reports that the 33-year-old is in secret talks with ITV to take on the job, with a deal said to be worth £500,000 on the table.

“Mel’s in pole position to join the judging panel,” a source told the paper.

“She’s ideal and Simon Cowell is eager for her to join the team.”

Charlotte Church and Cheryl Cole are among the others who have been rumoured to be in the frame to replace Sharon – who announced earlier this week she was quitting the show.

Meanwhile, the papers have also been speculating that Sharon walked out of the show after bosses refused her demands for a £1m pay rise for the fifth series.

“Sharon has wanted more money every series since The X Factor started,” an insider told the Mirror.

“This time she was demanding £2.5m. It was too much and we called her bluff.”

Sharon leaves the show as the only judge who has never had a winning act. The closest she came was in the second series when Andy Abraham finished as runner-up to Shayne Ward.

She is currently a judge on America’s Got Talent, being shown on ITV2, and is said to be in negotiations with MTV for a new series.