The 62-year-old rocker – whose wife Sharon appeared as a judge on the ITV1 show for four series – is reportedly being drafted in as “controversial choice” to replace the Geordie beauty, who is said to be certain to get a coveted role on the US version of the talent contest.
An insider explained: “Ozzy would certainly be a controversial choice but he can really bring something different to the show. Sharon was a big hit and we think Ozzy can do well too.”
However, Cheryl’s reported departure from the series has ruffled feathers both in the UK and the US, with Stateside TV bosses only having recruited the ‘Promise This’ singer after music mogul Simon Cowell – who is in charge of the show – persuaded them to offer her the role.
The source added to The Sun newspaper “Producers this side of the pond aren’t happy Cheryl has gone but this was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Bosses in the US are nervous but it looks as though Simon has twisted their arms.”
Cheryl will not be the only judge notably absent from this year’s UK ‘X Factor’, as ITV boss Peter Fincham has confirmed Simon – who is currently concentrating on the upcoming US launch of the series – won’t be assuming a weekly role on the show.
He told the Sunday Mirror newspaper: “We have been aware that his on-screen ¬involvement in this series will not be as great as ¬previous years for months now. It is something that we are completely -comfortable with.
“We are talking to him about ways he can have an on-screen presence later in the show. He will not be a weekly judge, but he will be an enormous presence backstage as always.”