X Factor guest judge Nicole Scherzinger has said she could never replace Cheryl Cole as Britain’s sweetheart despite her popularity on the ITV show last weekend.

The Pussycat Doll, 32, has been linked to a permanent role on either the UK show or Simon Cowell’s new American X Factor – in direct competition with Cheryl.

The two singers have been rivals before.

Cheryle once insulted Nicole, apparently saying: “I don’t think she stands out at all.”

She also targeted Nicole’s band The Pussycat Dolls, allegedly suggesting that some members of the band were unable to sing.

The two popstar’s were unable to meet each other during filming of The X Factor due to Cheryl being taken ill, but Nicole insists that she has no intentions of replacing her.

She told X Magazine: “Oh my God, Cheryl’s, like, the UK’s darling. I don’t know her personally, but I think she’s just lovely at what she does on the show and how people connect with her and her story.

“As for filling her shoes, I would never try to do that because those are big shoes to fill.”

Nicole added: “I think in any situation anyone should go into, they should come into it confidently with a positive attitude and be themselves and do their own thing. So that’s what I tried to do.”

The success of Nicole’s stint at The X Factor is not just apparent with the viewing public, who wrote messages on forums such as: “Nicole makes Cheryl look average” and “Nicole is beautiful”, but also with judge Louis Walsh who apparently said of her guest appearance: “My favourite was Nicole Scherzinger. She has The X Factor in every way.”

Simon reportedly shared his feelings on having Nicole on the judging panel, saying: “Louis around Nicole was just like a little puppy who’s got their first toy to play with and won’t leave it alone.

“She even convinced us to change the format so that the ‘over’ category now begins at 28. She was very smug about that.”

The next stage of The X Factor features more of the Pussycat Doll, as she stands in once again for absent Cheryl and Dannii Minogue.