08:56 06 May 2011
ITV has confirmed that Cheryl Cole will not be returning to the X Factor judging panel, with the search now on to find a star to replace her.
It was announced on 5 May that the Promise This singer will be joining the US panel, alongside fellow judge Simon Cowell.
The news is a major blow for the UK version of the reality show, as ITV now have to replace their two most popular judges.
A statement released on the X Factor website said:
"It's with a pride-filled lump in our throat that today we announce Cheryl Cole's departure from the UK version of The X Factor."
A spokesman for ITV has said that the new line-up will be decided in "due course", but whoever lands the job has big shoes to fill.
Cheryl has mentored the winning contestant twice in her three-year stint on the show, while Simon is regarded as the driving force behind the whole programme.
A number of names have been suggested as possible replacements for the pair, including Lily Allen, Nicole Scherzinger, who filled in for pregnant judge Dannii Minogue last year, Frankie Sandford from the Saturdays and Take That's Gary Barlow.
Former Spice Girl Mel B was in talks to appear on the show, but has now decided to appear on the Australian version.
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