Cheryl Cole 'returns to the X Factor after Gary Barlow signed her up behind Simon Cowell's back'
00:54 GMT, 8 September 2012
She was once the queen of X Factor but was taken off to America with dreams of fame and fortune.
After being humiliated by Simon Cowell, Cheryl Cole is set to return to the show that made her a household name.
Current judge Gary Barlow has pulled off a successful secret plan behind Simon's back that will see Cheryl back on the X Factor.
She's back: Cheryl Cole will make a return to X Factor as Gary Barlow's mentor
The 29-year-old Geordie will return to the ITV1 show as a mentor for the Take That star's acts at the judges' houses stage.
Gary, 41, wanted the news kept quiet as to not annoy or anger Cowell, who Cole famously fell out with after he axed her from his US version of the show.
The plans were so cloak and dagger that Barlow went to the extent of making people believe that Robbie Williams would be he surprise mentor.
Smooth moves: Gary Barlow is said to have secured Cheryl's services without telling Simon Cowell
An X Factor source told The Sun newspaper: 'Only Gary’s intimate inner circle know. He hasn’t even discussed it with Simon or ITV bosses. It’s been seriously top secret stuff.
'They’re all under the impression it’s going to be Robbie. No one even noticed the dates for the recording clashed with Robbie’s new solo tour.'
Gary apparently got Cheryl to agree to the show as the two stars relaxed over a drink following their duet at the Buckingham Palace concert he organised in June for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.
She's the one: Gary made his friends believe that Robbie Williams was going to be the guest mentor
Cheryl recently told Jonathan Ross that although she is in contact with Simon, they are far from being friends.
She said: 'I do talk to him every now and again. We're frenemies.'
The Under The Sun singer will not be the only big name to join the show at the later stages.
The big boss: Simon Cowell was kept in the dark about Cheryl's return to the show
Soulful star Ne-Yo will help out Nicole Scherzinger and the Boys during her stop in Dubai, and Tinie Tempah will team up with Tulisa and the Girls in the Caribbean.
Louis Walsh, who is mentoring the Bands, will be joined by ex-judge Sharon Osbourne in Las Vegas.
Golden oldies: Louis Walsh, pictured in 2010, has once again selected Sharon Osbourne to be his guest mentor