Simon Cowell has fuelled speculation British pop star Cheryl Cole is set to return to his hit U.K. TV show The X Factor. Former Girls Aloud star Cole was a mentor on the programme but was famously dropped by Cowell from the first season of the U.S. version of the show in 2011 after filming just two audition rounds. Cowell tells Britain's Daily Mirror newspaper, "She was a really, really good judge. I mean, she took what she did seriously. She used to phone me almost every night - one, two, three o'clock in the morning, talking about songs and what she should be doing. "That's the kind of judge you want to be working with on these shows, because they really care. I hope we're going to get the chance to work together. We have to find a way because we had a lot of fun." Cole reportedly received $2.1 million (£1.4 million) in an out of court settlement after she sued executives at Blue Orbit Productions, the team behind the show, for loss of earnings following her exit from the U.S. programme. Reports of Cole's return to the British contest began to spread after current judges, Gary Barlow, Sharon Osbourne and Louis Walsh announced their plans to quit after the 2013 show.