Will.i.am has said Cheryl Cole doesn’t need to go back to The X Factor.

The Black Eyed Peas star – who has taken Cheryl under his wing since they worked together on her hit single 3 Words – insists the 28-year-old star deserves her own show.

Will.i.am told The Daily Mirror: “Cheryl won’t do X Factor. Why does she need it?

“Why are you going to make someone else rich? Cheryl needs her own show.”

The music mogul even hinted Simon Cowell made a mistake by dropping Cheryl from the judging panel on the US X Factor

“Cheryl Cole was current on X Factor. She was the only one on the panel with musical experience of what it feels like to go through that process. That’s how she made it into the industry, by doing Popstars. Paula Abdul was an artist, but she wasn’t current at the time.”

Will.i.am has signed up as a judge on rival BBC singing talent show The Voice, alongside Jessie J, Tom Jones and Danny O’Donoghue. And it’s been rumoured that Will.i.am has helped Cheryl get a spot as a guest judge on the show.

He said: “I won’t be a judge on X Factor. But The Voice is different. You can’t even compare the two.

“One, you have people in the music industry, current and legends, coaching the next generation. The other format you have judges critiquing, giving their opinions on things when they don’t really know, other than Randy Jackson on Idol. But on The Voice, we’ve all got experience.”