Cheryl Tweedy is being lined up for a return to 'The X Factor'.

Cheryl Tweedy

Cheryl Tweedy

The 34-year-old singer - who welcomed her son Bear with partner Liam Payne last year - is reportedly the number one choice to replace Nicole Scherzinger on the ITV talent show.

A source told The Sun on Sunday: "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.

"The bosses need to confirm how long the series will run for and what time it will air each week.

"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."

Cheryl made a brief return to the show for Simon Cowell's Judges Houses last year and while he is said to be keen for her to replace Nicole on the show, Louis Walsh recently admitted he'd prefer to keep the former Pussycat Dolls singer on the panel.

He said: "Nicole is my favourite because of her work ethic.

"She just gets into it and you never know what she's going to say, do or wear.

"That's why I love her because she brings a whole new energy to it."