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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).

The singer said that she could hear herself fine on the TV recording. Fleur East worried after Mel B comments X Factor's Cheryl Fernandez-Versini is down to just two acts after two weeks. Cheryl: 'We've lost the cool factor' Louis Walsh says that he will "talk to the boys" about changing things. Louis blames Simon for 8-piece band Chloe Jasmine's mother thanks Cheryl for helping her daughter. Chloe's mum tells Simon she has X Factor "Everything was too vague, too wishy-washy," the show boss complains. Simon Cowell: Chloe didn't really want it Join us to find out who will survive 1980s week on The X Factor. X Factor '80s Week results as they happened The X Factor's judges offer unfiltered criticism for '80s Week. X Factor: What did the judges say? Social media is abuzz with commentary as X Factor celebrates '80s Week. The X Factor: '80s Week reactions Cheryl's dress causes a Twitter frenzy, after Simon describes her as "Kermit". X Factor: Simon calls Cheryl Kermit the Frog Who was your favourite in '80s week? Poll: Who was a hit in X Factor '80s week? Simon Cowell defends Fleur East against vocal criticism from judge Mel B. X Factor: Mel B rows with Simon Cowell Join Digital Spy for two hours of highlights and low points for week two. X Factor: 1980s Week - As it happened Cheryl Fernandez-Versini wants a Spice Girls vs Girls Aloud night on The X Factor. Mel B and Cheryl want to collaborate Mary Berry says she took "no notice" of Danny Dyer altercation at TV Choice Awards. Mary Berry: 'Danny Dyer was naughty' The singer appeared as a guest judge on Strictly over the weekend. Donny Osmond waiting for X Factor call The music mogul hints that he will be using High School Musical as an inspiration. Simon Cowell planning musical TV series? X Factor boss pokes fun at a show that ends with "looking at a chocolate eclair". Simon Cowell dismisses boring Bake Off Hold tight - we've got a couple more months of this to endure yet. X Factor No.1s Week review: Here we go again The UK version of the show will now air in the US, Canada, China, Russia and more. The X Factor UK now airing in 147 countries Two acts left the competition during the first live results show. X Factor's first results show in pictures The boyband promise to stick together despite their X Factor exit. Overload Generation: 'We won't give up' Brian Friedman says Blonde Electra are "cooler" than their song choice. X Factor's Blonde Electra 'had wrong song' Cheryl says that she has to choose Stephanie Nala's songs carefully. Cheryl has an X Factor 'wake-up call' The Groups mentor admits to feeling shell-shocked after the first results show. Louis Walsh 'shocked' after eliminations Join us as we live blog the first X Factor results show. The X Factor results: As it happened Social media is abuzz with commentary as X Factor Live Shows begin. The X Factor: Live Show reactions It's time... to face... the Digital Spy readers! X Factor poll: Who's your early favourite? "You remind me of a little live blog." X Factor No.1s Week: As it happened Simon Cowell says he should not have "thrown the towel in" on US version. Simon Cowell regrets X Factor USA end Soggy bottoms and Baked Alaskas replace dancing celebrities and talent shows. How Bake Off became Britain's biggest show Tickets for annual arena tour go on sale this Friday (October 10). X Factor live tour announced for 2015 The X Factor stars grace the red carpet at the awards ceremony in London. Cheryl, Cowell light up Pride of Britain He yelled "you f***ed it up" after the singer messed up a record label meeting. Louis Walsh slapped Westlife's Shane Chloe-Jasmine, Jake Quickenden and more are spotted heading for rehearsals. See X Factor finalists at their new home Find out what some of the finalists did before making it through to the Live Shows. Where you've seen the X Factor acts before Judge also reveals that his son is a "really, really happy" baby. Simon Cowell: 'Eric will take over X Factor' X Factor judge promises to bring issue of dolphin captivity to "mass audience". Simon Cowell promises dolphin "project" Which former contestants do you think deserve another chance as wildcards? X Factor: Who do you want as wildcards? Blonde Electric unveil a new name in teaser for X Factor Live Shows. See X Factor's Blonde Electric change name The X Factor contestant says it's important to express yourself through song. X Factor's Jay James on "emotional" singing