Cheryl Cole to judge US X Factor show
Pop star Cheryl Cole has landed a job on the judging panel of the US version of The X Factor, Simon Cowell has confirmed.
The 27-year-old Girls Aloud star, who has worked on the past three series of the UK show, is expected to start filming on Friday.
"I'm so excited to be taking part in the American version of The X Factor," Cole said in a statement.
It is not clear whether she will have a role in the UK version of the show.
Cole will join Cowell and former record boss Antonio LA Reid on the US panel.
"I'm thrilled for Cheryl," said Cowell. "She is massively excited about this show and has been fantastic to work with.
"She is also a complete brat. Most importantly, this girl can spot talent."
It's a huge opportunity for Cheryl, and if things go well for her not only could it make her a household name as a TV star, but it could also boost her American music career.
She obviously has a good working relationship with Simon Cowell, who would not jeopardise a show so close to his heart by including someone whom he believed the audience wouldn't like or couldn't relate to.
But not everyone has the faith in Cheryl Cole that he does. In particular, questions have been asked about whether her accent could be a barrier to her being accepted by American audiences.
The ability to connect with people here in Britain is, of course, no guarantee that someone can do the same in the United States. British stars like Piers Morgan, Cat Deeley and Len Goodman have managed to make the transition.
But others like Ant and Dec were less successful when they tried to launch themselves in the US.
There are worries, too, on this side of the Atlantic for the British version of The X Factor. Cowell and Cole have arguably been its most popular judges.
With them almost certainly gone, at least for the show's initial stages, one of ITV's most popular programmes could be in danger of losing some of its appeal, and its audience.
Cole has revelled in beating Cowell in two series of the UK version of her show, with two of the acts she had mentored - Alexandra Burke and Joe McElderry - being crowned winners.
The star said she cannot wait to continue her winning streak in America.
"I just can't decide whether I am more excited to find and nurture the talent, or for the unbelievable amount of amusement and entertainment I will have watching Simon doing everything and anything he can to beat me.
"He's tried to beat me for three years in the UK and hasn't even come close. His ego must be so bruised. America is gonna love this."
Speculation has been rife over the last few months as to whom would appear on the US X Factor show.
Cole's relatively low profile in America had seemed to rule her out of contention in some pundits' eyes.
It is not yet known whether the singer will play a part in the UK version of the show when it begins later this year.
Last month ITV announced Cowell would not be involved in the audition process but may appear in later editions of the British programme.
The X Factor looks for undiscovered talent from the age of 12 or over, who will be given the chance to win a $5 million (£3m) recording contract.
Cole, who divorced football player husband Ashley last year, shot to fame in 2002 when she won a place in Girls Aloud in ITV talent show Popstars: The Rivals.