Simon Cowell has reportedly roped in one of the most talented acts in music to write this year's X Factor winner's single. Singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran is said to be putting pen to paper in hopes of earning the 2016 winner the coveted Christmas number one.
After The X Factor's 2015 winner Louisa Johnson failed to claim the top spot with her cover of Bob Dylan's Forever Young, show boss Cowell is said to be pulling out all the stops to ensure the series reclaims its traditional Christmas glory.
According to The Sun, Sheeran, 25, has submitted a song to Cowell, 57, which follows his successful formula of heart wrenching ballads. A source told the newspaper: "Everything Ed does turns to gold. To have him write the winner's song is huge and amazing news for this year's winner.
"All the remaining contestants have heard the track and it works for the majority. They can't believe potentially their first-ever single will be written by Ed. The only chance his song won't get used is if 5AM or Honey G pull off a shock win. Then bosses might need to consider another one of their options."
Contestants currently left in the competition are Matt Terry, Emily Middlemas, Honey G, Ryan Lawrie, Saara Alto and 5 After Midnight with Sam Lavery voted off during the results show on 13 November.
Johnson's winner's single made a dismal impact on the UK charts in December 2015, reaching a lowly number nine. It is currently the only X Factor single in 12 years not to reach number one. In October, the 18-year-old revealed that she was never a fan of Forever Young and expected it to perform poorly on the chart. The singer said: "I didn't really gel with it that much – everyone knows it wasn't the best song. I didn't really like it, but it was just one of those things. It got to a higher spot than I thought it was going to get."
Sheeran has taken a break from the spotlight over the last year following the roaring success of his second album x. The Photograph singer embarked on an extensive world tour, including three sold-out nights at Wembley Stadium, while the album's biggest single Thinking Out Loud has amassed over 751 million streams on Spotify. When announcing his hiatus in December, Sheeran promised fans he would return "next autumn".