Simon Cowell 'wants Jesy Nelson' as X Factor judge
- Bang Showbiz
- 9 March 2021
'The X Factor' boss Simon Cowell reportedly wants former Little Mix star Jesy Nelson as a judge on the talent show
Simon Cowell is said to be keen to bring in Jesy Nelson as a judge on 'The X Factor'.
The talent show mogul – whose flagship ITV singing competition is currently on hiatus after 16 years as an annual fixture on the network – is said to be keen to have the former Little Mix singer on board after she left the group.
An insider told The Sun newspaper's Bizarre TV column: "It’s a no brainer for Simon to have someone as successful as Jesy, who the show made, back on the panel.
“She knows the ups and downs of the music industry inside out, and what it takes to be a successful pop star.
"Her name has been banded around by Simon and his team as someone who could breathe a bit of new life into the show when it’s back next year.”
Simon's record label Syco had previously said they wouldn't work with management agency Modest or any of their clients, which included Little Mix – who won 'The X Factor' in 2011 – at the time.
However, it's said Jesy is now working with YMU – formerly James Grant Management – with a roster including the likes of 'Britain's Got Talent' mainstays Ant and Dec, and Amanda Holden.
The source added: "They’re drawing up huge plans for Jesy at YMU.
“They not only want her to do great things in music as a solo artist, but they think she has the potential to become the darling of entertainment telly.
"She could easily fill, and go beyond, the void left by someone like Cheryl Tweedy and is arguably more relevant to audiences now.
“She’s got a huge following with the demographics that TV bosses are obsessed with.”
In August last year, ITV's director of television Kevin Lygo admitted he wasn't certain if Simon would bring 'The X Factor' back in 2022, as there were no "definite" plans in place.
He said: "It's not definitely returning, it might return. The format will be tweaked. When we talk about format changes, it was our most successful entertainment show for a decade and you need to be wary of changes.
"I'm sure 'X Factor' will be back at some stage and it's really when is the right moment. Simon controls it – when does he want it to come back and how does he want it to come back? And hopefully we can be part of that."