Louis Walsh has hinted that Mel B could be back on The X Factor this year.
Although Simon Cowell previously said he hoped to keep the same judges as last year for this autumn’s series, Nicole Scherzinger has yet to sign up.
There have been reports suggesting that Nicole is set to leave the series to pursue an acting career.
And speaking this week, Louis shared: “Nicole might be getting a big movie like Wicked.”
He continued: “If [Nicole doesn’t come back] Mel B would be a good idea for the panel.
“Mel is on the US show with Simon.”
Speaking to the Sunday Mirror newspaper last month, Nicole confirmed she had been asked back to The X Factor this year but hadn’t decided to say yes just yet.
She declared: “I don’t know yet. We’ll see.”
Nicole went on: “I might [be back on X Factor]. But I want to get back to creating. Last year I did a lot of TV and I loved it, but I didn’t spend time with the artist in me.
“The idea of doing that excites me more than anything.”
If Mel does step in to replace Nicole it wouldn’t be the first time.
The former full time judge in the 2014 series appeared last year to stand in for Nicole at the London auditions.
Meanwhile, as Nicole’s spot in the panel remains up in the air, Louis revealed he’d definitely be back on the show once more.
“I am signed for the next two years on X Factor so I am okay. The show lacked energy when I was not there and Simon knew,” Louis told The Sun newspaper.
The X Factor 2017 will air later this year on ITV.