Celebrities

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).

Pop history suggests that Zayn's departure could prompt a long farewell for One Direction. Is this the beginning of the end for 1D? The boyband will continue as a four-piece with a new album later this year. Zayn Malik quits One Direction The former X Factor star talks about Simon Cowell's backing and debut album. Luke Friend: 'Public can see a fake artist' All four judges and Ant & Dec are cartoonised for the brand new series' trailer. See new Britain's Got Talent 2015 trailer Only Simon Cowell is guaranteed to return to the show amid "exciting changes". X Factor producer hints at format change The music mogul tweets about the man who "complained a lot" on his flight. Simon Cowell son angers plane passenger The singer says the band needs rest and wishes Zayn Malik a speedy recovery. Sinitta on 1D drama: "They need to rest" X Factor fired two "unacceptable" judges, but this acid-tongued lot are in the same league. 7 cruelest TV talent show judges? The 2015 audition tour will visit 50 towns and cities across the UK and Ireland. X Factor launches biggest ever auditions Anna talks chatting to royals and celebrities on the red carpet at the Prince's Trust awards. Anna Williamson's Showbiz Peek The chat show host says that Clarkson must be held accountable for his actions. Jonathan Ross unsure of Clarkson's future The Britain's Got Talent judge says that he is a fan of Clarkson. Cowell backs Jeremy Clarkson return House of Cards star Kevin Spacey also attends Celebrate Success Awards. Simon Cowell, Prince Charles at Trust awards The track has already been a chart smash in Australia ahead of its UK invasion. Is 'Cheerleader' the next big novelty hit? Can you tell the House of Cards villain apart from the music mogul? Quiz: Cowell or Frank Underwood quote? "I'd rather take a bath, fill it with vinegar, cut myself a thousand times, immerse myself slowly for an hour..." Cowell won't let Katie Hopkins join BGT Taylor Swift is named Woman of the Year, Sam Smith is top musician at London gala. Taylor Swift, Sam Smith win Elle Awards See a whole load of celebrities made out of batter to celebrate Pancake Day. Flippin' heck! See Cheryl as a pancake The singer is preparing to release her fifth album later this year. Watch Leona Lewis record new music The BGT judge's husband is 'mortified' after accidentally tweeting the picture. Amanda Holden explains Pretty Woman picture The singer tells Twitter followers that she has lots of "exciting things happening". X Factor winner Sam Bailey dropped by Syco The Britain's Got Talent judge quickly deleted the photo from Twitter. Holden criticised for daughter picture Simon Cowell brings his baby son Eric to meet his fellow BGT judges. BGT: Baby Eric Cowell meets the judges Watch Ant & Dec and the show's judging panel sharing their very best advice. BGT judges share their Dos and Don'ts The judge arrives with male models wearing gladiator attire in a camp entrance. See David Walliams's camp BGT arrival Jon Culshaw and Debra Stephenson will voice celebrity puppets in Newzoids. ITV to air topical puppet sketch show Mukerji addresses guests at a fundraiser including Prince Charles and Camilla. Rani Mukerji's bid to end child trafficking The singer says he has a similar working method to Labrinth. Marlon Roudette on joining Cowell's label The singer says that his approach to music wouldn't work for the format. Roudette 'wouldn't get through X Factor' One Direction and label boss Simon Cowell make Debrett's annual influential list. Cowell, 1D among music's most influential After Christopher Maloney holidays with Danniella Westbrook, anything is possible. 6 bizarre celebrity holiday pairings Debrett's unveil latest list of "people of influence and achievement in British society". Who are the most influential people in Britain? The comedian says he doesn't expect to get his NTA back from Simon Cowell. Walliams: 'Cowell won't give NTA back' Pictures of David Walliams's makeover at the hands of Simon Cowell are unveiled. See David Walliams's Red Nose Day makeover We take a look back at the fascinatingly huge popularity of the Soldier, Soldier stars. 20 years after Robson & Jerome: 10 facts The presenter says that his previous comments were "taken out of context". Dermot responds to X Factor exit rumours David Walliams dresses for the occasion as Britain's Got Talent auditions start. Simon Cowell lifts up Walliams' kilt Fox says it has been in talks with Cowell about "a performance-oriented show". New Simon Cowell talent show being mulled? The X Factor judge's fashion sense is already rubbing off on his son. Cowell and Eric: Like father, like son ITV confirms that the judging panel will remain the same for the new series. BGT: All four judges return for new series