KERRY KATONA TO RE­PLACE RITA

Midweek Sport - - FRONT PAGE - By GARY DORAN news@sun­daysport.co.uk

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’.

Drugs

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

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