KEITH NEWBERY Cheryl could regret breaking up that special relationship

We’ve been hearing a lot about the ‘special relationship’ between Britain and America – and even more about the ‘special relationship’ between Simon Cowell and Cheryl Cole.

Both, I fear, have now been splintered beyond repair.

Forget all the platitudes and pseudo-charisma Barack Obama brought with him on his recent state visit to London.

Ignore the lip-nibbling schmaltz about ‘the grandson of a Kenyan cook in the British army’ and the meaningful pauses between sentences which these days masquerade as great oratory.

It was all a slick act; a stunt designed to revive Obama’s support in the United States, where the majority of voters are far more enthusiastic about the British than he will ever be.

A ‘special’ relationship is one enjoyed by two parties who have a genuine affection and respect for each other.

An ‘essential’ relationship (as Obama now likes to call it) is one tolerated by an estranged couple who make an effort to get on for the sake of the kids.

But it would appear even this fragile bond is infinitely stronger than that which now exists between Mr Cowell and Mrs Cole.

Their mutually-beneficial alliance has shattered into a million little tear-stained pieces – for which we must offer up grateful thanks.

It is said to be such an unseemly mess of bruised egos and battered wallets that nothing will bring this awful duo back within simpering distance of each other.

He promised her fame and fortune in America – and all went well until she opened her mouth.

American producers (who are not renowned for taking prisoners) decided they would be better off with a judge their audience could actually understand – and Cheryl was soon on her way home in a frightful funk, hiding behind dark glasses and black looks.

She then proceeded to embark upon a sulk of Ted Heathian proportions, eschewing all Cowell’s imprecations to resume her seat on the British X Factor judging panel.

Refusing to do so may be the worst decision she has ever made.

Cheryl Cole has no obvious talent. The Americans could see that straight away and acted upon it. The penny is now dropping over here.

She owed more than she realised to her ‘special relationship’ with Cowell – and will soon discover how essential it was to her.