Cheryl Cole is set to give her former mentor Simon Cowell a huge kick in the teeth… by performing on bitter rival talent show The Voice.
Everybody’s favourite Geordie star is being lined up to sing on the BBC’s flagship programme, which goes head-to-head with Britain’s Got Talent in a colossal ratings battle this spring.
And her manager Black Eyed Peas Will.i.am tells me exclusively that he’s thrilled to be annoying the big dawg himself Simon Cowell in the process.
Will, who is on The Voice’s judging panel revealed: “I want her on the Voice. I mean why not? That would really p*** the big man off wouldn’t it.
“This is her year by the way – Cheryl is back! You all gonna love her new music – it’s on it, on the money.”
The move will no doubt infuriate Cowell, 52, who has already said he believes the Beeb have “declared war” on him and ITV by pitting their show directly against BGT.
Cowell said: “It is 100 per cent a declaration of war. They launched The Voice because they don’t like BGT and X Factor being successful.”
And the 28-year-old Geordie’s appearance on the BBC will really hurt him as he feels he gave the Fight For This Love singer her big break. Even though he sacked her from the US X Factor he still wanted her back on the UK X Factor but Will.i.am blocked the move.
“He wouldn’t let Cheryl call Simon and the production team,” says my source. “Simon and all the producers were gutted.”
The US rapper fanned the flames again last week when he belittled the ITV1 show, saying: “Cheryl won’t do X Factor. Why does she need it?”
Last night a TV source said: “Cheryl has been working on new material for months. She is determined to relaunch herself as a credible artist and The Voice will be the perfect platform to showcase her latest tracks.
“The fact her manager is on the judging panel means it’s an absolute no-brainer for her.”
The BBC paid huge sums to form a celebrity panel including Will.i.am, Tom Jones, Jessie J and Danny O’Donoghue from The Script.