Simon Cowell has confessed he bungled his efforts to launch Cheryl Cole's career in the U.S., admitting he was "wrong" to remove her from the judging panel on The X Factor.
Girls Aloud singer Cole hit headlines earlier this year (11) when she exited the newly-launched U.S. version of Cowell's hit TV show just days after it began shooting.
Cowell expected her to return to her former role as a judge and mentor on the U.K. series - but Cole left the franchise altogether, turning her back on Cowell.
Now he has revealed he hoped Cole's return to Britain would have been "good" for her career, and admits he got the decision wrong.
Cowell tells Britain's Sunday Mirror, "There were a few of us who made a decision when we were filming the show that Cheryl we felt - and I probably got this wrong, and I'll admit it - was going to be more comfortable doing the U.K. show than the American show.
"I thought Cheryl returning to the U.K. would have been a big headline. It would have been good for the show over there, good for her.
"And, you know, when you have to make decisions as a producer, you have to make hard decisions. And I'm the first to admit if you get it wrong, you have to take it on the chin."