By JODY THOMPSON
She's out: Cheryl Cole is officially NOT on this year's X Factor panel in the UK, it's been announced this evening
She's been at the centre of intense speculation over the past few days after sensationally being dumped on the U.S. version of the X Factor - but Mail Online can confirm that Cheryl Cole will NOT be returning to the UK version.
Moments ago, ITV released a brief statement on Twitter saying: 'Official: @TheXFactor (UK) judges will be: Gary Barlow, Tulisa Contostavlos, Kelly Rowland & Louis Walsh #itvpresscentre.'
As previously reported by the Mail, the announcement had been expected after TV executives withdrew their offer to the 27-year-old Girls Aloud star yesterday evening.
However, in a press release from ITV tonight, Cheryl's departure from the show was completely glossed over.
Fresh blood: N-Dubz star Tulisa Contostavlos and Destiny's Child singer Kelly Rowland have both been officially announced tonight as the new judges on the UK X Factor
A quote from Simon Cowell simply said: 'These four are totally up for it, each of them bring a different attitude. They have had a ton of hits between them and they are all committed to finding a star. I have a feeling Louis and Tulisa will have slightly different points of view as to what the next star should look and sound like!'
ITV’s Director of Television, Peter Fincham, meanwhile said in the statement: 'As multi-million selling artists, songwriters and pop masterminds, Gary, Tulisa, Kelly and Louis have huge breadth of appeal with our audience and the ability to engage both the UK’s next generation of music talent as well as ITV’s viewers.'
Something old, something new: Gary Barlow is the new man on the judging panel (L) but Louis Walsh is the only original member now in the line-up
Unsurprisingly, the new judges spoke of their delight at being appointed to the panel of the show.
N-Dubz star Tulisa, 22, said: 'I'm so excited to be the joining The X Factor and want to bring something fresh and new to the panel. I'm not going to be afraid to speak my mind and mix things up a little. I am hoping to find some hot new talent and mentor a winning category. It is also going to be great to get to know and work alongside the other Judges. Let the fireworks begin!"
Former Destiny's Child star Kelly, 30, meanwhile gushed: 'I am so excited to join The X Factor UK and be able to spend time in one of my favourite places in the world.
'The music coming out of the UK right now is incredible with artists like Adele, Jessie J and James Blake, so I’m confident this season of The X Factor will give me opportunity to hear a few diamonds in the rough. Being a judge is never easy, but I promise to be as sternly honest as I can and also encourage everyone who crosses the stage. I can't wait to meet the world’s next superstar!'
Last one standing: Louis, far right, is the only judge remaining from last year's panel - Simon is concentrating on the U.S. version, and neither Cheryl or Dannii are returning
Take That's Gary was equally enthusiastic, saying:'I'm extremely excited about working on The X Factor. I've always been a fan of the show and always enjoyed performing on it too. My one goal is to find a global super star. If I don't find one I won't have done my job.'
Old hand Louis meanwhile, who perhaps can scarcely believe his luck to be the last surviving member, said: 'I'm delighted to back for my eighth series of The X Factor, it's my favourite job in the world and I'm really excited this year to work with Gary Barlow and the rest of the new panel. I'm the last original judge standing and I'm determined to find an act that can win this year and show the others how it's done!'
Cheryl had initially been given the ‘olive branch’ of returning as a judge on the UK version of the hit show after she was suddenly axed from its American counterpart last week.
However, both the star and her manager, Black Eyed Pea Will.I.Am were refusing to take phone calls from TV executives, including Simon Cowell, to discuss the option.
Airbrush artist: Simon Cowell, seen here arriving for tonight's Britain's Got Talent live semi-finals, made no reference to either Cheryl or Dannii being dropped from the X Factor in tonight's official statement
As a result, last night they decided to end their interest in bringing her back to the UK show.
A TV source told the Mail: ‘That’s it. Cheryl will not be returning to the British X Factor.
Cheryl who? The ITV press office official announcement made no mention of the Girls Aloud singer