Louis Walsh has suggested that Nicole Scherzinger may not be returning to the X Factor next year.
The 65-year-old revealed that he and Sharon Obsourne have already signed for 2018 but hinted that Nicole hasn’t.
He told the Mirror: “I’m signed for next year, so is Sharon. Let’s see about Nicole.”
When asked who he would like to see on the panel, he said: “I would bring in Mel B, I love her, she’s a survivor. I love Nicole a little bit more, she’s my favourite judge.”
Nicole herself has previously hinted that her time on the ITV singing competition might not last much longer because she wants to get back in the studio after a three year hiatus.
She said last month: “I’m telling all these people on the show what they should be doing when I should be doing it myself.
“I really care and it’s always a huge decision for me whether I come back or not because I know it’s 100 per cent or nothing.”
Louis comments about Nicole potentially not returning come amid reports that Cheryl could be back on the panel next year following her maternity leave.
Louis and Cheryl have famously not got on too well over the years but Louis insists: “It’s all in the past.”
New mum Cheryl might not be so ready to forgive and forget though, as when quizzed about the current panel, she said: “You’ve got some people that have experience everything in there, from being on stage to being the manager. And then you’ve got Louis.”
She also revealed she’s not quite ready to get back to work, saying: “I want to be with Bear a little bit longer.
“It has just been me and him and I’m just loving being a mother at the moment. He is only six months old.”
But boyfriend Liam told The Sun that she was already in talks about going back, saying: “Cheryl and Simon spoke about her going back next year. Obviously Simon is desperate to get her back.”
And Simon added fuel to the fire about her return, teasing: “We’ll consider it. Let’s wait till the end of the show… maybe they (Nicole and Sharon) don’t want come back... let’s see what happens, I wouldn’t rule anything out.”