Simon Cowell had a 'feeling' Cheryl would quit The X Factor
Simon Cowell had a "feeling" Cheryl Fernandez-Versini was going to quit 'The X Factor' long before she announced it.
The music mogul has admitted he predicted the 32-year-old singer - who first joined the show in 2008 before leaving in 2010 and returning in 2014 for another two years - would step down from the programme's judging panel because he could see she was heading towards a different point in her life.
Speaking to the Daily Mirror newspaper, he said of the brunette beauty's decision: "I had a feeling she would leave. She is at a certain place in her life at the moment."
The former Girls Aloud singer broke hearts across the country last week when it was announced she was turning her back on the show in order to focus on her solo career and her relationship with One Direction hunk Liam Payne.
An insider said: "Cheryl told Simon of her decision at dinner last week in Los Angeles. They have had many discussions about the new series but she finally made up her mine. Her relationship with Simon is the best it's ever been and they both are incredibly supportive of each other. Music is her number one passion and she has just started working on a new album which she wants out later this year."
And it seems this year's forthcoming series of 'The X Factor' hangs in the balance at the moment as Cheryl isn't the only judge to walk away from the nitty-gritty panel.
DJ Nick Grimshaw announced earlier this year that he had quit after just one season but it's believed former judge Louis Walsh - who was dropped last year following 11 years on the panel - is being persuaded to make a shock return.