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May 30, 2011 by · 1 Comment 

Mike Darnell

Days after reports circulated on the Internet that Fox TV had forced Cheryl Cole off Simon Cowell’s upcoming U.S. version of The X Factor, the television network has yet to release a statement on the matter. Her dismissal, originally leaked to the gossip website TMZ, is being regarded as a fait accompli by most of the syndicated entertainment news programs and British tabloids. A detailed account was published in The Mail on Sunday in which Fox’s reality chief, Mike Darnell, was said to have ordered Simon Cowell to fire Cole and that Cowell readily complied. The headline described Darnell as the “fiendish Rumpelstiltskin: The 5ft 2in snakeskin boot-wearing TV boss who shattered Cheryl Cole’s U.S. dream.” In a classic case of the pot calling the kettle black, the tabloid pointed out that Darnell had previously been responsible for the canceled O.J. Simpson special “If I Did It, Here’s How It Happened,” and the never-aired series “Who’s Your Daddy” in which adoptees were to try to pick out their biological fathers from a line-up. “He once said his dream format would be a beauty pageant in a female jail,” the newspaper said. But the paper maintained that Cole, who speaks in a thick Northern England accent, may have sealed her own fate during early audition rounds of X Factor in which she asked a Latino singer whether she was singing in English — and was booed by the audience. The Mail also quoted a source as saying that “there was a stunned silence when she complimented a man in tight jeans on his ‘package.’ She may have meant his overall performance but it didn’t come across.” Nevertheless, Cole has reportedly won the sympathy vote at home. Several reports suggest that she is likely to be hired as a judge on the upcoming BBC version of The Voice. The Guardian newspaper quoted a source as saying that such a move would be “a great way of sticking two fingers up at Simon Cowell.”