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).

We'll get our final few acts, and then the judges have some tough decisions ahead. Britain's Got Talent: 10 teasers for tonight The X Factor boss says Walsh's potential departure "is what it is". Simon Cowell on Louis Walsh's X Factor future The BGT judge has a very unique way of getting revenge on her boss. Holden: 'I'll get Cowell back for firing prank' "I saw this week they were like, Dolly Parton. Who will it be, Nick Grimshaw or Dolly Parton?" Nick Grimshaw: 'I'd love to do X Factor' Ian McKellen, Eddie Redmayne and Helen Mirren are among the names apparently working backstage. The Brits lend a hand on Red Nose Day USA We've gathered together everything we've heard about the new series of The X Factor. The X Factor: Everything we know so far The X Factor chief's EDM talent show will arrive next year. Cowell's Ultimate DJ for spring 2016 debut As the pair are likened to Tom and Jerry, we take a look at their age-old feud. Louis v Cheryl: A history of trading insults "I wish they'd fight more on the show actually. Why do it on Twitter?" Simon Cowell weighs in on Louis v Cheryl row Louis Walsh predicts a three-man, one-woman panel for the 2015 X Factor. Louis tips Nick Grimshaw for The X Factor "I am beginning to wonder if Louis has some kind of an obsession with me," she says. X Factor judging war: Cheryl hits back at Louis The X Factor judge says he'd jazz up the debates with fire and trap doors. Simon Cowell wants to produce leaders' debates Syco Entertainment has picked up the languishing Brian Epstein biopic. Simon Cowell takes on Fifth Beatle film The Last Crusade gets a whole new look as Anna Kendrick slips on Indy's hat for Red Nose Day. Anna Kendrick is the new Indiana Jones? 'The Crumble Song' is a hit-in-the-making for one of the Britain's Got Talent judges. Watch BGT contestant win Golden Buzzer Get your round up of all the crazy action from tonight's Britain's Got Talent. Britain's Got Talent: The best and worst Get some hints about what's coming up in tonight's episode of BGT auditions. Britain's Got Talent: 10 teasers for tonight The former American Idol judge weighs in on announcement that show is ending. Steven Tyler: 'I'm open to Idol return' The duo have replaced Dermot O'Leary as hosts for the upcoming series. First look at Olly and Caroline on X Factor Olly Murs and Caroline Flack say that they want the Take That star to be a new judge. Olly Murs wants Robbie on The X Factor Two of American Idol's original judges react to news of its final season. Simon Cowell pays tribute to American Idol Cowell says "the door remains open" for Louis Walsh. Simon Cowell on Louis Walsh's X Factor fate Do you want to see Radio 1 Breakfast Show host Nick sitting behind a different kind of desk? Should Nick Grimshaw be an X Factor judge? Tabloid reports claim that the long-standing judge is exiting after 11 years. The X Factor: Has Louis Walsh been dropped? The 26-year-old magician's assistant delivered a spectacular illusionist performance. Chloe Crawford takes centre stage in BGT The Siberian group earned four yeses for their innovative light show. BGT: Watch U.D.I's spectacular light show Get caught up on everything that happened in tonight's Britain's Got Talent. BGT: The good, the bad, and the bizarre Get some hints about what you can expect from tonight's instalment of BGT. Britain's Got Talent: 10 teasers for tonight Game of Thrones cast, Jennifer Aniston, Jodie Foster and Coldplay join Red Nose Day US. Julia Roberts and Coldplay join Red Nose Day US NBC's charity telethon lines up Reese Witherspoon, Will Ferrell and the Voice coaches. Simon Cowell repping UK at Red Nose Day US Cameron and Miliband puppets are also on the campaign trail ahead of the election. Newzoids reveals new Royal Family dolls Consolidated ratings make the April 25 episode of Got Talent the year's most watched. BGT is the biggest show of 2015 so far The reality star, singer and actress tweets her thanks to the show's cast and crew. Jasmin Walia is taking a TOWIE break Undeniable proof that dad dancing is the new break dancing. Old Men Grooving delight the BGT judges Could singer Maia Gough be the one to watch on  Britain's Got Talent 2015? Young singer wows on Britain's Got Talent Find out everything you need to know about tonight's acts right here. BGT: The good, the bad and the bizarre Get some little hints about what you can expect from Britain's Got Talent tonight. Britain's Got Talent: 10 teasers for tonight Look at a picture of the young David Walliams and decide for yourself. Was David Walliams a demonic child? Viewers will also be able to vote for their favourite contestants via Tumblr. Yahoo! Live will stream Cowell's Ultimate DJ Will Simon, Cheryl, Louis and Mel B be coming back this summer? X Factor: Who will judges be this year?