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Cheryl will return to work this week
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Cheryl Tweedy Cole

Brave Cheryl Tweedy is due to return to work this week after a remarkable recovery from malaria.

The 26-year-old X Factor judge, who contracted the potentially fatal disease last month, has been in talks with TV chiefs about going back to work for the first time next Friday with an interview for ITV2 spin-off show The Xtra Factor.

The interview with Xtra Factor host Konnie Huq is likely to take place in the grounds of the Surrey home that the Girls Aloud singer once shared with Chelsea and England footballer Ashley Cole.

The singer has also been in touch with boss Simon Cowell about returning to the panel in time for the Judges’ Houses stage of the competition next month.

She has been joking with the 50-year-old X Factor boss by text – warning him not to keep the best acts for himself while she is sick and fellow judge Dannii Minogue is on maternity leave.

A source close to the singer, who is currently divorcing Cole, said: “Cheryl is a fighter and this has been the fight of her life. She’s put all her energy into getting better and it looks like it’s paid off. The fact she’s cracking jokes again is a wonderful sign that the feisty old Cheryl is returning.

“Simon has told her he can’t wait to have her back on board.”

Despite her speedy recovery Cheryl still has a live-in nurse to ensure her return to health continues. She is considering ­keeping the nurse on call when she feels well enough to go back to work full-time.

The source added: “She feels better but it’s one step at a time and she thinks she would feel more confident if she had her nurse, just in case anything goes wrong.

“Her mum Joan has been waiting on her hand and foot which means she’s built her strength up with early nights, home-cooked meals and lots or rest and relaxation.”

This week Cheryl – who was rushed to hospital on July 6 after ­collapsing at a photo shoot – has been up and about watching DVDs.

On Tuesday she enjoyed a pamper day with Joan, 50, after L’Oreal – the cosmetics firm she is the face of – sent a hamper of products to her £3.5million home near Godalming.

Cheryl was warned she might need up to six months off after contracting the ­mosquito-borne disease in June while on holiday in Tanzania with a close pal, dancer Derek Hough.

She spent nearly a week in intensive care.

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