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Cheryl Cole talks of malaria near-death experience

Returning X Factor star Cheryl Cole has described her near death experience of malaria as she helps to raise funds to fight the disease through Sport Relief.

The star contracted the disease on a holiday in Tanzania. Credit: Reuters

Cole claims doctors gave her just a day to live at one stage when she was struck down with the illness after contracting it on holiday in Tanzania. She said:

"When I climbed Kilimanjaro for Comic Relief five years ago it was honestly one of the hardest things I've ever done.

"The motivation lay in knowing it could help in eradicating malaria and ultimately saving lives by providing mosquito nets.

"I didn't for one minute think that only a year later I would get malaria myself and become so ill that at one point I was given 24 hours to live.

"It was the scariest thing you could ever imagine for me and for my friends and family. The pain I felt and went through, it's what so many people go through, all because they don't have a mosquito net which could save their life.

"I was lucky, I had the best care I could get. Some people are not so lucky."

Simon and Cheryl talk of their X Factor return

Simon Cowell and Cheryl Cole have spoken of their return to X Factor after their well-documented fall-out.

The pair fell out in 2011 after Cowell sacked Cole from the American version of the show after only three weeks as a judge.

Simon Cowell and Cheryl Cole speak to Daybreak about their X Factor return. Credit: ITV/Daybreak

She had only filmed one episode before being dropped by Cowell and the incident soured relations between the pair.

Speaking to Daybreak, Simon said: "I have done this a long time. You have fall-outs along the way. I held my hands up and said I made a mistake and I was sorry - and I was sorry. Then when I decided to come back, I also decided I had to have Cheryl back on the show with me."

Cheryl explained how she finally gave in to Simon's pleas to return to the ITV show: "There's only so much begging one can take and it's not nice to see a grown man cry, so I finally succumbed."

It is yet to be confirmed which other judges will be joining the pair on the show's panel.

To watch their interview in full, visit the Daybreak website

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Cowell: X Factor musical's postponed preview is tonight

The first public preview of The X Factor musical I Can't Sing! will go ahead tonight after it was postponed twice in one week:

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Hello. Am very excited and relieved to confirm the first public preview for #ICantSingUk the X Factor musical is tonight.

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It's difficult to describe because I have never seen anything like it before. I hope you love it as much as I do.

The musical, penned by comedian Harry Hill, had been postponed due to technical problems, producers said.

Read: Simon Cowell reveals alcohol helps spark his creativity

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Sam Bailey: Christmas Number One is 'icing on the cake'

Former prison officer turned X Factor winner Sam Bailey has said achieving the coveted Christmas Number One spot with her debut single 'Skyscraper' was the "icing on the cake".

X Factor winner Sam Bailey with a copy of her new single at an HMV Store in Leicester. Credit: Joe Giddens/PA Wire

Bailey told OfficialCharts.com: "Being Number 1 is absolutely amazing.

"It really is the icing on the cake and it means Great Ormond Street Children's Charity and Together For Short Lives will benefit from the single, which makes it extra special."

Sam Bailey wins battle for Christmas number one

X Factor winner Sam Bailey has won the battle for this year's Christmas number one. The 36-year-old former prison officer sold twice as many copies of her single, Skyscraper, than US star Pharrell Williams in second.

X Factor winner Sam Bailey signs copies of her new single at an HMV Store in Leicester. Credit: Joe Giddens/PA Wire

Bailey, 36, who was crowned the winner of the singing contest last week, is splitting all proceeds between Great Ormond Street Hospital Children's Charity and Together For Short Lives, a charity which helps children with life-threatening conditions.

Chancellor George Osborne has agreed to waive VAT on the release.

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