Cheryl Fernandez-Versini has new-found respect for Simon Cowell
Cheryl Fernandez-Versini has "a whole new level of respect and love" for Simon Cowell since his mother passed away.
The 55-year-old music mogul lost his mother Julie earlier this month following a lengthy illness and Cheryl, 32, has revealed her admiration for how Simon has dealt with the tragedy.
She said: "I've always admired his strength and tenacity, but now I have a whole new level of respect and love for him."
Meanwhile, a show insider has revealed Cheryl and the other members of the judging panel - Rita Ora and Nick Grimshaw - are doing their best to ensure Simon remains in good spirits.
The source told the Sunday Mirror newspaper: "They have all agreed to take the pressure off him by doing as much extra work as possible. All three are being very calm and upbeat.
"Cheryl really feels the most responsibility as she has worked with him for so long. Her heart really goes out to him."
Although Cheryl is keen to engage in on-screen banter with Simon, she is trying to rally around him away from the gaze of the public.
The source explained: "They have their banter when the camera's are rolling but behind-the-scenes she is very much looking out for him.
"They have always had their ups and downs but he has always been amazingly supportive of her and he is one of her true friends in an industry in which she doesn't trust lots of people."