The X Factor may be delayed

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Cheryl Cole

Cheryl Cole

ITV bosses are considering ''range of options'' in a bid to keep Simon Cowell and Cheryl Cole on the show - including postponing its air date.

ITV bosses are considering postponing 'The X Factor' until January 2012.

Show chief Simon Cowell is expected to miss this year's competition as the live stages, which take place in the autumn, will run at the same time as the finals in the new US version of the show, and with him expected to be joined on the Stateside panel by current UK judge Cheryl Cole, bosses are determined to do whatever they can to keep the pair involved in the series.

However, changing the transmission period could cause havoc for the entire network.

A source said: "ITV is looking at a range of options to keep Cheryl and Simon. But changing dates would play havoc with ITV's schedule and the auditions have already begun."

Despite being an early favourite to land the judging role, it has recently been claimed that Cheryl will be sidelined in favour of a major US star such as Mariah Carey or Nicole Scherzinger, but insiders insist that is not the case.

One source told the News of the World newspaper: "Simon's never been afraid of putting a Brit on the panel. He did it with Piers Morgan on 'America's Got Talent' and now he's one of the biggest names in the States.

"Cheryl will be just as successful. The Yanks are going to love her!"

The Parachute' hitmaker is said to be staying with 'American Idol' host Ryan Seacrest - who is dating Julianne Hough, the sister of Cheryl's rumoured boyfriend Derek Hough - to prepare for the US 'X Factor'.

An insider said: "Who better to go to for tips on being a judge than Ryan? He's helped make 'American Idol' a huge, huge show."

Meanwhile, Welsh presenter Steve Jones has revealed he is still in the running to present the US talent contest.

He said: "I don't know if I'll get it, but I'm a serious contender.

"I've known Simon Cowell for quite some time. He likes me; we connect."

His comments come days after current UK host Dermot O'Leary claimed he had missed out on the job, but had been the only Brit to make the shortlist.

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