KERRY KATONA TO REPLACE RITA
POP nutter Kerry Katona has emerged as the shock favourite to replace sexy Rita Ora on The X Factor.
Show boss Simon Cowell reckons the former Atomic Kitten singer, 35, has the winning combination of watchability and experience to make the flagging ITV talent show a hit again.
And after 25-year-old sex bomb Rita sensationally quit earlier this week Cowell has instructed his people to sound out curvy Kerry to see if she is willing to take the job.
Kerry, who had a No.1 hit with Whole Again during her time with the 90s’ girlband, is believed to be ‘very keen’.
Before her well-publicised battle with drink and drugs Kerry was a huge success.
She won the public over with her down-to-earth attitude on I’m A Celebrity…Get me Out of Here! and is now on top of her addictions.
And her forthright opinions are just what Cowell is after to spice up The X Factor, which suffered its lowest ever ratings in the last series.
An insider said: “It’s a bit of a leftfield appointment but that is exactly what the show needs.
“Kerry will give it a shot in the arm and hopefully bring more viewers in.
“She has been in the music industry for years and she’s lived enough to be able to offer proper advice to the acts.
“This year the judges were too young, too insipid. The public thought they were too in awe of Simon.
“Kerry will be very much her own person. She’s exactly what the show needs.”
Also thought to be on Simon’s hitlist are Jamie Cullum, Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera and Britain’s Got Talent judge Alesha Dixon.
Cowell is looking for three new judges after Rita, Cheryl Cole and Nick Grimshaw quit.
CHRISTINA AGUILERA ALESHA DIXON BRITNEY SPEARS GAFFER: Simon Cowell RITA ORA