Nicole Scherzinger recently split from Formula 1 ace Lewis Hamilton

Nicole Scherzinger would like to give Cheryl Cole a big hug.

The Pussycat Doll replaced the Girls Aloud star, 28, on the US X Factor panel after she was removed as a judge in May.

Nicole would like to thank Cheryl for the opportunity she got following the axing. 

'I haven't seen Cheryl since I got the job,' says Nicole, 33.

'If I did, I'd give her a big hug.

'I'm just grateful for my job - everything happened the way it's supposed to and I know she made the decision that's best for her.'

Despite receiving criticism for her performance as a judge, Nicole has no regrets about leaving her role as co-host of the show and taking her place on the panel next to Simon Cowell, 52, Paula Abdul, 49, and Antonio 'LA' Reid, 55.

'If believing in yourself and going after what you want in life and realising your worth is ruthless and selfish,' Nicole tells Alan Carr, 'then I'm definitely ruthless and selfish.'

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Esme Riley