US X Factor panel yet to be decided

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Simon Cowell with UK X Factor judge Cheryl Cole, left, and his fiancee Mezhgan Hussainy

Simon Cowell has said the judging panel for his US version of The X Factor has yet to be decided but he hinted Paula Abdul could be in the running.

Simon reaffirmed that he is a “massive fan” of Paula, his former American Idol colleague. But he is still deciding who will join him in judging his new talent contest and the panel will not be announced for several weeks.

The X Factor is set to debut in the autumn on US channel Fox.

Simon left the network’s American Idol in part to focus on the new show, which has been a successful format in several countries since its UK debut in 2004.

The winner of The X Factor will get a five million US dollar (£3.1 million) record deal, which Simon said will not be a “dressed up” sum.

He insisted the top contestant will get one million US dollars (£621,000) a year for five years, separate from the costs involved in recording and promotion.

“It’s a massive, massive risk but it’s also an incredible incentive.

“It puts everybody, rightly, under an enormous amount of pressure,” he said, adding: “I believe I can find a star.”

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