Although X Factor 2018 is a long way down the line, bosses are scheduling meetings for the end of this month, where they’ll discuss their visions for the next series.
They will also hold advanced talks with former judge and Girls Aloud star Cheryl – who is said to be the ‘top choice’ to replace The Pussycat Dolls’ Nicole Scherzinger.
The Sun report that previous talks held with Cheryl were “unofficial” as ITV have not confirmed the shows schedule yet.
An insider said: “Cheryl is the top choice and she is keen to come on board.
“But as yet, the conversations taking place have been unofficial, because we can’t begin official talks with anyone until the show’s schedule is agreed.”
Cheryl first appeared on The X Factor from 2008 until 2011 where she left, but has returned to host the 11th and 12th series of the singing competition.
The source continued: “It is very likely there will be changes in that department from last year, as it is widely felt that last year’s series wasn’t ideally placed to optimise ratings.
“Once those decisions are made and agreed, the bosses will have the green light to start talking to Cheryl officially and discuss contracts with her.
“But this is seen by most of the team as a formality, and even the most cautious have put the chances of her replacing Nicole this year at about 85 per cent. It would be a huge shock if it didn’t happen.”
The X Factor returns later this year on ITV.