There might be a Whole Lotta History with former bandmate Nadine Coyle, but Cheryl says wouldn’t rule out a Girls Aloud reunion.
In an exclusive interview with the Mirror, Cheryl says: “I would never say never. We had an amazing time when we were together. I watched a tour thing the other day online and it brought back lots of memories. I was feeling really nostalgic.”
It comes after Nadine, 32, last month spoke out about the band, which split in 2013, calling the girls, including Sarah Harding, Nicola Roberts and Kimberley Walsh, “bitter”.
And Cheryl admits there was some bitterness towards the end.
She said: “There’s always politics in any band. It just happened that I always got more vocals than everybody else, so in terms of people wanting their voice heard, that wasn’t happening. And it made people, very bitter. They didn’t like that.”
Simon Cowell suggests Cheryl should indeed Fight For Her Love of the band.
“I think they should get back together,” he says, before turning to Cheryl.
“‘Why don’t we get Nadine for dinner?...the three of us and we should talk about it. I mean Nadine is not exactly storming the charts as a solo artist is she?’”
Meanwhile, when it comes to people throwing their toys out the pram, new mum Cheryl must be getting plenty of experience.
As Cheryl joins Simon for Judge’s Houses, the pair have clearly fallen straight back into their famous magical banter.
And as they laugh together in the grounds of the luxurious French Château, Cheryl suggests there’s only one reason she’s not yet back for good - her and Liam Payne’s adorable six-month-old son Bear.
In an exclusive joint interview with the Mirror, Cheryl, 34, and Simon, 57, today give the strongest hint yet the star is ready to reclaim her full-time job on the judging panel after her two-year break.
But only after some more time spent enjoying family time.
“I want to be with Bear a little bit longer,” says Cheryl. “It has just been me and him and I’m just loving being a mother at the moment. He is only six months old.”
She adds: “I’ve got time - I’ve got that luxury lifestyle and some mothers don’t have that luxury and have to get back to work. I’m just taking it as I can but I do love the show.”
Places on the panel could definitely be up for grabs in a massive shake-up of the show after this series.
Nicole Scherzinger is heading back to the studio in December after a three-year hiatus sparking speculation over her future. And Sharon Osbourne is weary of the trans-Atlantic commute from LA to London – and has spoken of her plans to retire from the industry.
Lending fuel to the fire, when asked about the likelihood of Cheryl replacing either of them, Simon says: “We’ll consider it. Let’s wait till the end of the show… maybe they (Nicole and Sharon) don’t want come back... let’s see what happens, I wouldn’t rule anything out.”
Cheryl’s breezy, carefree persona is a far cry from the dark days which saw her dumped from the US version of the show in 2011.
She had faced heavy criticism of her bizarre choice of outfit for one of the few US auditions she attended and was eventually sacked by show boss Richard Holloway.
She has since revealed it felt like she was suffering from a “nervous breakdown” and that she was “not right in the head.”
Her and Simon’s relationship imploded and Cheryl famously even sent him a text at the time saying: ‘F*** you, **** the orange and purple outfit. **** the big hair. **** the UK X Factor. **** you all. I hate you.’
They had patched things up by 2014 when Simon and Cheryl were reunited for two years on the UK show, before Cheryl decided to take a break again last series.
And now up close in the lavish Chateau Diter, nestled in the hills outside Cannes, any awkwardness between the two of them is long gone - they are on top form, regularly finishing each other’s sentences and clearly enjoying being back together.
Of course, they are now both parents. Cheryl had baby Bear in March after falling for One Direction’s Liam, 23, after splitting from second husband Jean-Bernard Fernandez-Versini. Meanwhile Simon’s partner Lauren Silverman, 40, gave birth to baby Eric, now three, in 2014.
And Simon is quick to point out that Cheryl can happily balance motherhood with being back on the talent show.
“I’m a dad, I do it... no problem,” he says. “Bring them (Bear and Eric) to the show. Get them used to it!”
Cheryl replies: “We were just saying this last night. They’re probably going to be pals.”
Cheryl will be seen on screen on Saturday to help Simon whittle down his six groups to three in the Judge’s House stage.
Simon said: “When we got on the plane yesterday it was like, ‘When was the last time I saw you?’ It was two years ago... it feels like it was a week ago. Genuinely, it’s fun being back together.”
A lot has happened in those two years. Both Rita Ora and Nick Grimshaw came and went with varying success.
So what does Cheryl think of the current judging line-up of Louis Walsh, Sharon and Nicole?
“You’ve got some people that have experienced everything in there from being on stage to being the manager,” she says. “And then you’ve got Louis."
Louis and Cheryl have had a long-running feud despite him being her former Girls Aloud manager – with boyfriend Liam once wading in to tell Louis to ‘shut the f*** up’ in a Twitter rant.
But such animosity doesn’t appear to put Cheryl off from a potential return.
And, whisper it, it might even make for better TV than the current cosiness existing between the panel.
But at the moment Cheryl is focused on her short stint on the show this weekend – and she says she is relishing the lack of responsibility this time around.
“I was happy to do it. And its good for me as there is no pressure,” she says. “I don’t have to choose who goes through. Normally I’ll go to bed tonight exhausted, drained and worried, feeling so bad that I have to tell them ‘No’.”
Cheryl knows how stressful this stage can be - and how much pressure comes with this decision. Her most controversial Judge’s House round came in 2010 when her decision to keep Cher Lloyd who messed up her audition over the bookies’ favourite Gamu Nhengu led to a national outcry, later dubbed Gamugate.
Seven years on, the ITV show is currently pulling in 5million viewers which, while a far cry from its peak, is still an impressive number in today’s crowded television landscape.
But Simon freely admits that Strictly Come Dancing, with nearly double the audience, is deservedly winning the ratings war - and that he would love to buy the show for himself.
“I’m not angry like I used to be,” he admits, before adding about Strictly’s massive ratings, “I don’t know if you will ever get back to that stage again.
“I would love to have that show by the way, but it does have a much older audience.
“If you try and make our show old to compete with them (Strictly) then I think you have got a big problem.
“So I think you have got to hang on to what you have got and be thankful they are still watching it. Maybe one year we will give them a run for their money.”
Surely Simon hasn’t waved the white flag in the TV ratings battle?
“You never give up but at the same time you have to accept it for what it is now,” he says.
“We still get 7.5 million consolidated viewers - that’s still a lot of people, they’re young and they are buying records.”
Simon also addressed health worries after pictures emerged of him looking tired and pale emerged last month in Los Angeles.
“I got a call after that saying ‘Am I dying?’,” he smiles.
“But I’m fine. I feel a lot better actually,” he says, before joking: “I mean I obviously don’t photograph very well”
“It’s because he got the call to say I was coming back,” quips Cheryl “...And my fee.”
Simon however says that he has made one change to his lifestyle to try and combat stress – turning his phone off.
“I have turned my phone off for three months and it’s the best thing I have done,” he adds. “I swear to God it reminds me of when I was just starting to work and there was an answer machine and that was it. I swear to God it’s addictive”
Asked how Sinitta gets in touch, Cheryl doesn’t miss a beat. “She rings the doorbell,” she laughs.
* The X Factor is on Saturday, October 21, at 8.20pm on ITV1 and Sunday, October 22 at 7pm.