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Cheryl returning to The X Factor 2018: confirmed

Host Dermot O'Leary let the cat out the bag…

Gemma Strong

Cheryl is set to make a full-time return to The X Factor in 2018, host Dermot O'Leary has revealed. TV host Dermot confirmed the news in an interview with Metro, simply stating: "Cheryl's going to come back.”"The mum-of-one hasn't appeared as a judge on the show since 2015, but she did make a special cameo last year, joining Simon Cowell for the judges' houses. But if for some reason, she doesn't return, Dermot knows exactly who he'd like to take her place – Mariah Carey. "If it wasn't Cheryl, I would love Mariah," he shared. "It would be a whole new world of crazy, my friend!"

STORY: Dermot O'Leary shares rare photo of his parents Sean and Marie

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Dermot O'Leary has confirmed Cheryl will be returning for the 2018 series of The X Factor

Dermot will return to the spotlight next week, when he hosts the National Television Awards. The 44-year-old said he will be rooting for The X Factor at the ceremony, where it is up against Strictly Come Dancing, Britain's Got Talent and The Voice UK for most popular talent show – but he conceded the competition is fierce. "We've had a bit of a hiding the last couple of years," he said. "Strictly, you can't deny it, it's on a great run."

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Cheryl last appeared as a judge on the show in 2015

News of Cheryl's X Factor return comes after fellow judge Louis Walsh declared a public truce with the star. Speaking about their long-running dispute, Louis told the Sun: "If Cheryl comes back, that's fine. Look, we disagree on certain things but that's what makes it good. We all get on." But, the Irish star admitted he would prefer to see Nicole Scherzinger remain on the panel. "Nicole is my favourite because of her work ethic," he said. "She just gets into it and you never know what she's going to say, do or wear. That's why I love her because she brings a whole new energy to it."

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