X Factor boss Simon Cowell has been gushing about Cheryl Cole and praising her efforts on the singing show. He has revealed that she is better liked than him by viewers of the show and admitted that it took a lot to convince her to sign up as a judge.
On why he was so keen to hire her, Simon told new! magazine: “I’ve always been a fan of Cheryl’s. I first got to know her through Comic Relief Does The Apprentice when she was on that.
“She called me out the blue and said, ‘It’s Cheryl Cole.’ And I was like, ‘Oh yeah, right.’ And she said, ‘No, it’s Cheryl Cole. I want some money for this charity.’
“She was incredibly convincing and persuasive. I gave her the money and that was honestly why I wanted to work with Cheryl on a show. It just took me two years to persuade her. She blew me out on Britain’s Got Talent after saying yes.
“And then eventually I persuaded her to do The X Factor. I knew she was going to be good because she speaks like normal people speak. People can relate to that. And I think that is the best sign of a judge.
“Not someone who is sitting there as a vocal coach, but instead saying, ‘This is why I like you, this is why I don’t like you.’ And it’s a very, very rare talent. To embarrass her, she’s one of the best I’ve ever worked with.”
Simon added: “If you bring somebody on a show, you’re not bringing them on to be unpopular! I had to really, really twist Cheryl’s arm because she didn’t know how good she was going to be.
“I kept saying to her, ‘If you do this, not only is it going to be great for the show, but I think it’s going to be great for you.’ And she must now be the most popular person on TV – more than me! Annoying, but it happens.”