Simon Cowell vows he will woo Dannii Minogue back to X Factor
10:43 GMT, 11 May 2012
Less than three weeks after Simon Cowell’s secret relationship with Dannii Minogue was revealed, he has asked her to take her old job back as an X Factor judge.
Dannii is now weighing up returning to the show where the unlikely couple began a heated relationship four years ago.
Crucially, ITV and the show’s producers say Dannii will be able to combine the job with her existing role on Australia’s Got Talent. She’s also expected to receive an increase on her 700,000 deal from 2010.
Simon Cowell has asked singer Dannii Minogue to return as a judge on X Factor
My show source reveals: ‘Dannii has a formal offer from ITV, Thames, and Cowell’s company Syco. The ball is well and truly in her court. We hope she’ll return and think it will be the best thing for the show.’
Industry cynics say Cowell wants to prove the pair get on, despite Dannii’s fury that their former relationship went public. An insider told me: ‘Simon didn’t want Dannii back until the book came out. Then he realised what a publicity coup it would be.’
But sources close to Cowell stress he has ‘always stayed friendly’ with Dannii and they still speak on the phone.
If Dannii turns the deal down, Cowell is said to favour Marina Lambrini Diamandis, lead singer of pop band Marina and the Diamonds. Former N-Dubz star Tulisa will re-sign within days, joining Louis Walsh and Gary Barlow.
But Cowell has yet another surprise in mind — Pamela Anderson, more famous for her ample cleavage and an amateur sex tape than much else.
Marina Lambrini Diamandis,
from Marina and the Diamonds, is said to be Cowell's next choice if Dannii Minogue turns down the judging position on X Factor
He believes the former Baywatch star could be a controversial addition to Britain’s Got Talent next year. I’m told Cowell was close to signing Pammy in 2009, but, when an agreement couldn’t be reached, he turned to former Big Breakfast presenter Kelly Brook, who was axed after just six days.
My source explains: ‘Simon’s always looking at ways to improve his shows. He loves Pamela and thinks viewers would be fascinated with her.’
Cowell was criticised by ITV for his decision to hire another ex-Baywatch star, Carmen Electra, to fill in for Amanda Holden, who had just given birth, during this year’s auditions. But he stands by his decision to recruit Carmen because it ‘got everyone talking.’
It’s been a busy week for Cowell, who is poised to announce Britney Spears as a judge on the American X Factor.
The voice of desperation…
Backstage at The Voice there are heated arguments over halting the disastrous four million slump in viewers. The show’s four coaches are said to be ‘deeply distressed’.
The Voice Judges: Tom Jones with his fellow judges Jessie J, Danny O'Donoghue, and Will.i.am
The camps of Sir Tom Jones, Jessie J, Will.i.am and Danny O’Donoghue are outraged that producers have tried to pin the blame on their ‘overly nice’ comments to poor contestants.
The coaches insist the BBC assured them before they signed up that they would ‘never have to be nasty’.
‘All four coaches were expressly assured this was going to be a positive, upbeat show where they would not have to slag off contestants under any circumstances,’ an insider tells me.
‘Then ratings fall off a cliff and they’re blamed for being too soft. It’s not fair. They’ve only done as they were told.’
BBC1 controller Danny Cohen added to their ire by refusing to commit to them returning for series two, in stark contrast to suggestions a month ago that all would return with pay rises.
Miranda Hart who plays midwife Chummy Browne in ITV's Call the Midwife
But executives are also concerned they’ll be accused of mimicking The X Factor.
A Beeb source groans: ‘All along we’ve made a big deal about The Voice being a different type of talent show, so we can’t suddenly change the formula.’
ITV bosses are furious that growing competition from the BBC could see the highly anticipated second Downton Abbey Christmas special clash with the Beeb’s festive Call The Midwife.
A source at ITV rages: ‘They have to realise viewers won’t thank them if they have to choose between Downton and Midwife on the biggest TV night of the year.
'This is sour grapes because Downton was such a success at Christmas last year.’
Call The Midwife, starring Miranda Hart (above), has become the BBC’s biggest drama success in a decade and the Christmas episode will set up the second series of the 1950s drama, which will air early next year.
The Britain’s Got Talent final doesn’t take place until tomorrow, but sources at Sony, which oversees Syco, say they will offer teen opera sensations Charlotte and Jonathan a record deal no matter what.
And boyband The Mend, who missed out on the final, as well as The Loveable Rogues, who are still in the game, are ‘sure bets’ for lucrative deals.
Last year, Jai McDowall and runner-up Ronan Parke’s albums both flopped. But my mole says: ‘Simon and Sony think there’s a lot of money to be made. Charlotte and Jonathan could go international.’