Louis Tomlinson is being lined up to replace Mel B as a judge on American's Got Talent, according to reports.

The former Spice Girl, 41, is currently locked in a very public and bitter divorce battle with film producer Stephen Belafonte, also 41.

Show bosses are said to fear that with season 12 of Simon Cowell's hit NBC show due to begin on May 30 it could all get too much for "stressed out" Mel.

A source said: "Simon is being incredible loyal to Mel by insisting she stays for now despite the fact she is totally stressed out.

There are growing calls for Mel to be replaced by Louis immediately. Some producers feel she should be sidelined until her private life gets sorted out.

"They think the stories of abuse, restraining orders and threesomes will drive away viewers," the insider added to the Daily Star newspaper.

Ex One Direction singer Louis, 25, previously acted as a guest judge alongside Mel last year.

The dad-of-one's nice guy approach proved a hit with viewers, especially after he used his Golden Buzzer to send a homeless teenage singer through to the live shows.

Harry Styles' former bandmate was wowed by 14-year-old Jayna Brown's powerful performance of Andra Day's Rise Up and used the buzzer to guarantee her place in the next round of the talent show.

Despite receiving a standing ovation from judge Heidi Klum, Jayna was eliminated from the competition after failing to receive enough votes.

Louis Tomlinson to replace Mel B AGT
Former One Direction star Louis Tomlinson is reportedly being lined-up to replace Mel B on America's Got Talent Getty/Reuters

Singer-songwriter Grace VanderWaal, 12, went on to win the eleventh series of AGT in a finale watched by more than 14 million viewers, a six year high.

IBTimes UK have contacted a representative for America's Got Talent for comment.

Louis Tomlinson proved a hit with AGT viewers as a guest judge after using his Golden Buzzer to send homeless teen Jayna Brown through to the semi-finals YouTube