Cowell still in talks over U.S. "X Factor" judges

Mon Jun 6, 2011 8:30am EDT
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LONDON (Reuters) - British music and TV mogul Simon Cowell has been pushing for Cheryl Cole to be chosen as a judge on the upcoming U.S. launch of talent show "The X Factor," despite reports she had been ditched, his publicist said.

Cowell's spokesman Max Clifford told Sky News that talks were ongoing between Cowell, Fox television which will air the show and FremantleMedia, which is producing it along with Cowell's Syco Television.

"He wants her on the show, he put her forward," Clifford said on Sunday in televised remarks. He was not immediately available for further comment on Monday.

"Now people at Fox, people at Fremantle that are obviously a hugely important part of this triangle, are not so sure. So there's discussions going on, negotiations going on."

Last month it was widely reported that Cole, who rose to fame as a member of British girl band Girls Aloud, had been dropped as a judge on the new show just days after being hired.

The move was attributed by some news sites to Cole's northern English accent which producers feared U.S. audiences would struggle to understand, while others said she had failed to hit it off with fellow judge Paula Abdul.

Representatives for Cole, 27, and the show's producers have declined to comment on the reports despite persistent press speculation about what was happening behind the scenes.

"We have no comment to make about Cheryl Cole," her London representatives said on Monday.

Cole's own website was last updated on May 6 when it was announced that she would be joining the U.S. show, and on Monday she still appeared on Fox's website as one of the judges alongside Cowell, Abdul and Antonio "L.A." Reid.   Continued...

<p>Producer and television star Simon Cowell arrives at the 38th International Emmy Awards in New York City November 22, 2010. REUTERS/Jessica Rinaldi</p>