Simon Cowell has reportedly asked Dannii Minogue to return to The X Factor as a "publicity coup'' following reports of an affair between them.

The pair made headlines after claims of their secret fling surfaced in biography Sweet Revenge: The Intimate Life of Simon Cowell.

Minogue was a judge on the UK version of the talent show alongside Simon for several years until 2011.

Cowell reportedly wants the Australian star back on the show after Kelly Rowland confirmed she would not return to the series following her stint on the panel last year.


Industry cynics believe it is a ploy to boost show ratings.

"Simon didn't want Dannii back until the book came out,'' a source told British newspaper the Daily Mail.

"Then he realised what a publicity coup it would be.''

The singer is expected to receive a pay rise on her NZD$1,435,989.72 deal from 2010. She is said to be "thrilled'' about the offer.

"Dannii has a formal offer from ITV, Thames, and Cowell's company Syco,'' a source said.

"The ball is well and truly in her court. We hope she'll return and think it will be the best thing for the show.''

It is understood Cowell has "always stayed friendly'' with Minogue, despite various reports suggesting there has been a rift between the two.