He’s wrapped her in cotton wool throughout her battle with malaria but Simon Cowell says it’s war once Cheryl Cole returns to X Factor.
‘It would be unbearable if she won again,’ moaned Cowell, who has seen Cole win twice in a row – first on her debut as a judge with Alexandra Burke in 2008 and then again with Joe McElderry last year.
He also admitted that he’s to blame for the pantomine surrounding his judges after endless column inches devoted to Cheryl’s heath and love life and Dannii Minogue’s baby.
‘Sometimes we have got into the habit and I’m partly responsible for this of the judges’ personalities being talked about more than the contestants,’ he said.
The 50- year-old said he’s done with sob stories and tears from show hopefuls.
‘I like it when people are honest about why they have entered. If you’ve entered because you want to get rich and famous, then that’s great. Just don’t pretend you’re doing it in memory of your dead dog,’ he told new! magazine.