Alesha Dixon in X Factor talks
'Strictly Come Dancing' judge Alesha Dixon is reportedly in talks with rival show 'The X Factor' about replacing Cheryl Cole on the panel
Alesha Dixon could be set for a shock move to 'The X Factor'.
The 'Strictly Come Dancing' has reportedly held secret talks with bosses on the rival programme who see her as the perfect replacement for Cheryl Cole, who alongside Simon Cowell has quit to appear on the new US series.
A source said: "Cheryl leaves a massive void on the panel and there's a serious hunt going on right now.
"They're worried that without Simon Cowell on the panel, they need to find someone with a strong voice and personality who can blossom into a star.
"The obvious advantage of Alesha is that she's young, sexy and confident and already has experience on a judging panel."
However, programme chiefs - who are also said to be considering singers Lily Allen, Frankie Sandford and Tulisa Contostavlos for the show - are said to be worried about Alesha's connection to 'Strictly'.
The insider added to the News of the World newspaper: "That's a downside because they like the idea of someone fresh.
"Nothing has been decided yet but it's close to panic stations because the auditions are starting soon."
With Simon also departing to work on the US show, Take That star Gary Barlow - who, along with Alesha, climbed Mount Kilimanjaro to raise money for Comic Relief in 2009 - is also tipped to land a role on the UK programme.
A source said: "Gary and Alesha get on brilliantly and they could really be a winning combo."
Meanwhile, former Spice Girls singer Mel B - who was revealed earlier this week as a new judge on the Australian version of 'X Factor' - has admitted she came close to signing up for the UK programme.
She said: "It was touch and go whether I was going to be on the Australian or the UK version of the show but I'm thrilled to be going Down Under for it."