Gary Flockhart: Cheryl Cole Simon Cowell’s go-to

Simon Cowell. Pic: Comp
Simon Cowell. Pic: Comp
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WHEN Sinitta revealed a while back that former flame Simon Cowell was “frustrated”, “worried” and “doesn’t want the whole thing to fall apart”, I thought for a minute she was referring to his heavily-Botoxed face.

As amusing as that would have been, the 80s pop star was, in fact, merely saying that the high-trousered one had been finding it difficult to manage our version of X Factor since hopping across the Atlantic to start up the American variant.

Cowell doesn’t have that problem now after the American show was axed last week. Unsurprisingly, he wasted no time in announcing his return to the ITV show later this year.

You probably took from this column’s opening that I’m no fan of Cowell. The Don King of pop music has had a frightening stranglehold over the charts for too long now, but whatever you think of the guy, there’s no denying that the show is a lot better with him than without him.

And it needs him, too. With ratings in steady decline ever since he left for his American adventure, the X Factor’s goose looks well and truly cooked.

Cowell hopes to stop the rot and reportedly intends to do so with the help of his old sparring partner Cheryl Cole, which should be interesting, seeing as he axed her from his beleaguered American show because the Yanks couldn’t understand her thick Geordie accent.

While that should make for riveting viewing – for all of five minutes, anyway – I won’t shed any tears if the dark lord of Saturday night telly fails in his bid to reinvigorate the show and, as a result, he loses his monopoly on the UK charts.

Inevitably, it will happen eventually. Stock, Aitken and Waterman had a similar stranglehold over the charts with their formulaic pop in the late 80s and early 90s, and were cast aside when the nation tired of their dross.

Though it can’t come quickly enough, the same fate will befall Cowell.