Simon Cowell ‘regrets’ axing Cheryl from X Factor

Simon Cowell has admitted he regrets Cheryl Cole’s shock dismissal from X Factor USA, saying he had not intended for the singer to be sacked.

The mogul revealed that initially he had offered Cheryl her job back on the UK judging panel, saying it would have been “best for all concerned”.

“There were a few of us who made a decision when we were filming the show that Cheryl we felt – and I probably got this wrong, and I’ll admit it – was going to be more ­comfortable doing the UK show than the American show,” Simon told the Sunday Mirror.

“I thought Cheryl returning to the UK would have been a big headline. It would have been good for the show over there, good for her.

“And, you know, when you have to make decisions as a producer, you have to make hard decisions. And I’m the first to admit if you get it wrong, you have to take it on the chin.

Cheryl joined the judging panel of the US version of the show in May, along with Simon, Antonio ‘LA’ Reid and Paula Abdul – but she was given her marching orders after just four days of auditions.

“After two cities, I offered her the job back in the UK, which ­initially she accepted,” Simon said.

“And then unfortunately when it went public the negotiations fell apart.She was offered a chance to come back to America but, for certain reasons, ­decided not to. And that’s why it ended up the way it is.”

He added that it was his decision to replace her on the judging panel with Nicole Scherzinger – but said he and Cheryl have still not spoken since she left the show.

“I haven’t spoken to her, but we have texted. I am sorry for the way it worked out as we were incredibly close,” he admitted.

“She is still grumpy with me. But I can look myself in the mirror and say I wasn’t ­being mean.

“I offered her a lot of money to go back as a hero, and it didn’t work out. I think when you have the history we have, you’ll eventually work it out.”