Simon Cowell “100 per cent” wants Cheryl Cole back on The X Factor.
The music mogul fell out with the singer last year when she was axed from the US version of the show after just four days, but now they are friends again he is hopeful they can resume their working relationship.
He said: “I regret what happened because Cheryl was a close friend. I’ve always believed we’ll end up doing something together again.”
Asked about a potential return to The X Factor, he added: “She could be a panellist again if she wanted to – 100 per cent.
“I don’t know if she would. I think she probably misses me.”
The 52-year-old star admitted he felt like “public enemy number one” in the aftermath of Cheryl’s axing.
He added: “She is a grown-up and she understands that in this business when something happens it happens publicly.
“That wasn’t a great week for me. When I came back last year I was public enemy number one and I wouldn’t want to go through that again.
Meanwhile, Simon is said to have angered ITV chiefs after he admitted he “hadn’t decided” if the current judging panel – Gary Barlow, Louis Walsh, Kelly Rowland and Tulisa Contostavlos – will return this year, placing particular doubt over the busy Take That star’s position.
A source told the Daily Mirror: “We want Gary to stay. He did a brilliant job and we would be thrilled to have him back.
“It isn’t Simon’s decision – he has overstepped the mark.
“We’re not sure if Kelly will want to do it. Tulisa did a solid job and Louis is, well, Louis. But we really appreciate the work Gary did.”