Cheryl Cole

TV impresario Simon Cowell recently announced that this year would see not one, but two series of fading ratings juggernaut the X Factor. One show will feature competing celebrities while the other will be an All Star show bringing back famous faces from series past.

However, some important questions will have to be settled first. Chief among them: just who will judge these competitions? In a stunning development one of the names suddenly back in the mix is Cheryl (née Tweedy, then Cole, then Fernandez-Versini).

The X Factor judging panel has lately been in a state of flux, with singer Robbie Williams and his wife Ayda Field confirming that after just a year in the job they will not be reappearing. What was once one of the most coveted gigs in show business has turned into musical chairs.

So who’s coming back?

However, the advent of an All Star edition opens up some intriguing possibilities. Rather than freshen the panel with new faces, it seems likely that Cowell will bring back some old favourites.

According to bookmaker William Hill, ex-Spice Girl Mel B is at 5/4 to make a stunning return to the show. Old favourite Sharon Osbourne is at 6/4 with perennial favourite Cheryl at 3/1. Previous contestant Olly Murs is offered at 5/1.

Louis Tomlinson seems a near certainty to return as a permanent judge. William Hill are offering just 1/25 on a return for the One Direction star. Punters wishing to place a bet that Cowell himself will feature as a judge will see little value. Odds there are given at 1/100.