Simon Cowell

Occupation: Producer, music executive

Nationality: British

Born: October 7, 1959 (55)

Simon Cowell is a music executive who first stepped out from behind the scenes as a judge on 2001 UK singing competition Pop Idol. After becoming notorious for his brutal honesty and cutting put-downs, he secured a place on the panel of the phenomenally successful American Idol, which he continued to work on for nine years before leaving in 2010.

Cowell also established his own production company, through which he developed a variety of reality formats. The most successful of these have been UK shows The X Factor and Britain's Got Talent, both of which have since been exported to numerous countries worldwide.

In 2011, the music mogul brought The X Factor to America, acting as one of the four judges. He also premiered his first gameshow, Red Or Black, that year.

Cowell got engaged to make-up artist Mezhgan Hussainy in February 2010, but the couple separated in 2012. In April 2012, it was revealed he had an affair with fellow X Factor judge Dannii Minogue (who left the show in 2010).

Find out where you can see Cameron Edwards and Joe Lenzie play live this autumn. Sigma are heading on a UK & Ireland tour The singer hadn't actually confirmed the news until today. Louis Tomlinson finally confirms the baby reports Cameron Edwards and Joe Lenzie say they would never consider judging Ultimate DJ. Sigma want Cowell to scrap 'terrible' DJ show The TV star adds that she'd love to be a judge on Strictly. Holden 'totes fine' with a BGT panel change The TV presenter also calls Simon Cowell "a s**tbag" for that BGT Cheryl prank. Amanda Holden talks "naughty affair" The former judge makes a blink-and-you-miss-it cameo in the new teaser for the series. Louis Walsh returns to X Factor (sort of) Expect the unexpected as Simon, Rita, Nick and Cheryl go in search of a new star - and another familiar face returns... The first X Factor trailer is now here The music mogul also enthuses over new judges Nick Grimshaw and Rita Ora. Cowell wasn't happy with last year's X Factor "Sometimes I want to move away from him but he won't let us." Cheryl: 'Simon won't let me move seats' "Well obviously I was a bit shocked, but he's taken super well to it." Liam Payne was shocked by 1D baby news Discover X Factor's secret to success in the first promo for this year's series, airing later tonight. First look at new X Factor 2015 trailer Cowell Junior delays auditions for a ride with his dad in a golf buggy. Eric Cowell arrives at X Factor Boot Camp The singer says they did not offer the opportunity to do an original studio album. Leona left Cowell label over covers album The former One Direction singer says this is why he left the boyband and uses the hashtag "#realmusic". Zayn Malik has signed a solo record deal We've gathered together everything we've heard about the new series of The X Factor. The X Factor: Everything we know so far No, we're not going to make a Sex Factor joke. Not us. Nope. X Factor: Porn star dropped from auditions Rumours suggest that Cheryl will be joined by a familiar face at Judges' Houses. X Factor: Will Dannii Minogue be back? It's not just the judges who are different this time around, you know. The X Factor: 8 big changes this series The distraught young singer performed at Mark Wright and Michelle Keegan's wedding. X Factor hopeful dropped before Boot Camp Nick Grimshaw and Simon Cowell have bonded over one big thing - mocking Cheryl. X Factor: Grimmy and Simon's big bromance How are new judges Rita and Nick doing? What are Olly and Caroline like? We went to Wembley to find out. 14 things we learned at X Factor auditions Jean-Bernard Versini tells a certain "Jimmy the Grym" to sleep with one eye open. Cheryl's husband to Grimshaw: 'Her ass is mine' The judges raved about one act at Wembley... so what was the problem? The X Factor: This audition was heartbreaking Paula Abdul seems to think that a judges' reunion is in the offing... Will Idol's Paula, Randy and Simon reunite? The X Factor judge is taking precautions when it comes to his beloved Yorkies. Simon Cowell orders helmets for pet dogs "I like your hips, I like your lips... I'd like to give you one." Simon Cowell gets an X Factor snog X Factor judge shared a picture of herself with a young Grimmy back in 2003. Can you believe this is Nick Grimshaw? The X Factor judge insists she's "happy and healthy" and criticism won't get her down. Cheryl on weight loss criticism: 'I'm tough' Even Cheryl Fernandez-Versini was lost for words. Simon Cowell gets fruity on The X Factor The former X Factor finalist claims she warned Rita Ora about Cheryl. Katie Waissel calls Cheryl a 'prick' Brace yourself One Direction fans... will the band go on hiatus? Simon Cowell happy for 1D to take a break Simon Cowell enjoyed making fun of his fellow judge for her "embarrassing" injury. Cheryl burns her foot on hair tongs "Rita's young and letting her inhibitions go. She is who she is," Cheryl says. Rita Ora is planning an X Factor nip slip "The first thing I did when I went to Manchester with her was eat," he says. Simon Cowell defends Cheryl weight loss Music mogul seemingly confirms the rumours by sharing the advice he passed on to the One Direction star. Cowell comments on Louis Tomlinson baby news Caroline Flack catches up with a new X Factor band, while Olly Murs struggles to stay awake. The X Factor hosts bring auditions to you The singer appears to suggest that she is enjoying this series much more than the last. Is Cheryl throwing shade at Louis Walsh? Singer clarifies her previous criticism and dubs Radio 1 breakfast show host "a connoisseur of pop". Sinitta denies 'slamming' Nick Grimshaw The 'Call My Name' singer says her plan would stop there being a "runaway category". Cheryl wants to mix up X Factor categories Singer posts hilarious picture with her fellow The X Factor judges. Simon Cowell selfie makes Rita Ora cry