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Madonna has reportedly been approached by Cowell to appear on The X Factor.REUTERS

Madonna is reportedly close to signing a deal with Simon Cowell to appear on The X Factor.

The Hung Up singer has never performed on a talent show before and her first appearance on the UK edition of the music show would be a coup for Cowell.

It would also help to boost the programmes waning viewing figures, which have dropped since the music mogul left the judging panel in 2011.

The last series, with Gary Barlow serving as head judge, recorded the lowest ratings of the UK series ever.

With Cowell and newlywed Cheryl Fernandez Versini making a return to the series, producers are pulling out all the stops to ensure the show is a success.

Cowell is reportedly using his considerable influence to secure a line-up of superstar performers for the live final act, that include Irish rockers U2, Adele, Take That and Cheryl. And top of the list is the Queen of Pop herself, Madonna.

A source told The Sun: "It's looking very hopeful Madonna will perform, possibly in November on one of the live shows. There are a lot of big names releasing music at that time, but she's absolutely the number one name we are trying to secure.

"She needs her next album to be a success in the UK and a performance on ITV in front of 12 million people would be the best platform."

Madonna has been named the best-selling female artist of all time with over 300 million albums sold to date. If she agrees to the deal, the singer is will showcase her new music before an audience of millions.

The show has previously secured the support of major home grown talents, including Robbie Williams and Westlife, while A-list international stars including Beyonce, Rihanna, Katy Perry and Whitney Houston have also shared the stage with the British finalists.

This year the judge's panel includes Simon Cowell, Louis Walsh and Cheryl Cole with the new addition of former Spice Girl Mel B.