Filming for the X Factor was thrown into chaos yesterday after one of the judges was forced to pull out of the audition stages.
Judge Sharon Osbourne was supposed to appear at the auditions in Edinburgh alongside Louis Walsh, Nicole Scherzinger and Simon Cowell, but was was a no show because she has been suffering from a very bad back.
In fact the pain was so excruciating that she decided to fly back to Los Angeles to consult her doctor.
With Sharon off the panel, ITV bosses were straight on the phone to BGT’s Alesha Dixon and asked her to step in while Sharon was away.
This is second time Alesha has been a stand in on the show.
Just last week she was called in to replace Nicole while she was away filming.
Speaking about the sudden switch of judges, an ITV spokesperson said: “Unfortunately, Sharon is suffering from niggling back problems following surgery earlier in the year and will be unable to take part in the Edinburgh auditions.
“Alesha will be guest judging on the panel.”
While Alesha is keeping her seat warm, Sharon is expected to have further surgery to fix a trapped nerve which has been causing her terrible pain of the past few months.
The 64 year old wife of Ozzy Osbourne initially hurt her back while playing with her grandchildren earlier in the year and as a result was forced to undergo surgery.
“I was on the floor with them playing with toys and I got up. As I got up from the floor, my back — I just felt this twist in my back at the base of my spine,” Sharon said at the time.
“They tried to do it with an epidural to ease the pain – that didn’t do any good, so I had to go in and have surgery. And I’ve been in bed doing nothing. My life has just been like nothing.”
A show source said Alesha went down a storm last week when she replaced Nicole and was the first person producers thought of when it was clear that Sharon was going to have to pull out of filming.
“Alesha was brilliant at the weekend when filling in for Nicole – and will do a great job again,” the snitch said.
“Sharon’s back and health is the most important thing – so hopefully she feels better soon.”