the beard is here to stay , at least until the US launch of X Factor. Possibilities to get rid of her include her not being able to take on a job on the set because 'of other commitments' ...
Damn. Im giving Max too many ideas here.
Split will be down to him spending too much time working on XF US, followed swiftly by his growing closeness to Cheryl (the ground work for which has already started). Will all explode just as XF US starts, probably around the time of judges auditions.