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LONDON — Will Cheryl Cole jump ship to the BBC after losing her judging slot on both the U.S. and U.K. versions of X Factor?
The Girls Aloud singer is being touted as a possible host for a U.K. version of The Voice, the NBC show that ITV and the BBC are now battling it out to bring to the U.K.
Such has been the hype over Cole joining the show that is has triggered an all-out war between the broadcasters for the show, which previously the BBC had been the favorite to win.
Indeed, with both X Factor and Britain’s Got Talent, it isn’t even clear where ITV1 would place another talent competition.
But fears that a Cole-fronted vehicle could successfully woo audiences away from ITV has prompted the broadcaster to ramp up the bidding.
At the same time the BBC is keen to establish its own entertainment credentials with a new vibrant show, having fallen behind in the competitive stakes since its last big hit Strictly Come Dancing – which is the British version of Dancing With The Stars.
“Cheryl could tip the balance between an also-ran show and a real winner,” said one executive who has worked at the BBC and ITV. “It’s a big, big deal for both broadcasters, there’s a lot at stake.”
Meanwhile, Simon Cowell finally broke his silence over the Cheryl-ousting, telling The Sun newspaper that he was “sorry” for the way his protegee had been treated and that his actions had intended to look out for Cole’s best interest.
“I’m sorry. I hope we’re still close friends. She’s still a star,” he told the paper.
“The hardest thing to accept is that everyone has painted me as a monster because I embarrassed her. But the truth is I was protecting her. I just want people to be in the right place at the right time. This was never personal or saying ‘you were terrible.’ “
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