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Simon Cowell

Occupation: Producer

Nationality: British

Born: October 7, 1959 (54)

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 comedian says that he would love to be Simon Cowell's guest at Judges' Houses. David Walliams: 'I want X Factor role' Gareth Varey says he was probably "drunk" when he made the recorded comments. Tulisa's PA sorry for Cowell 'gay' remark The boys will show their second concert film in cinemas for one weekend only. One Direction announce new concert film The X Factor judge describes Gareth Varey's claims as "untrue". Cowell responds to Tulisa trial 'gay' claims Jurors are played a recording of Tulisa's PA claiming her former X Factor boss is "gay". 'Simon Cowell is gay', Tulisa drug trial hears The DJ says an X Factor-style show for DJs wouldn't work. Fatboy Slim: 'We told Cowell to f**k off' Are these really Johnny Depp, Kylie Minogue and David Beckham... or waxworks? Real celebrity or waxwork? Guess here! Digital Spy talks to the singer about her new album and new attitude. Cher Lloyd's back: I'm a different person The musical theatre boyband will release their first album on July 28. Watch Collabro perform John Legend hit Reports suggest that we could be losing our beloved Deadlock from the live shows. Should there be a fifth X Factor judge? The singer says she isn't surprised Cole has returned to X Factor after US axe. Walsh: 'Cheryl doesn't hold grudges' Cheryl Cole looks mortified when the group of men ordered by Simon Cowell arrive. Sex Factor: Cheryl Cole gets a striptease "F**k the big hair. F**k the UK X Factor... I hate you," read part of the text. Cheryl reveals text to Cowell after firing The X Factor would still visit Scotland if it became independent, says the judge. Simon Cowell against Scottish independence Picture of X Factor judges celebrating Cheryl's birthday, but there's no Louis Walsh. Simon Cowell wears party hat for Cheryl Sinitta says Cowell has become "very tender" since welcoming son Eric. Sinitta: 'Simon Cowell wants baby girl' The singer talks to DS about her new single 'Your Love'. Nicole Scherzinger: 'I've scrapped 5 albums' Jointly-bought racehorse 'It's A Yes From Me' finishes fifth out of five runners. Cowell, Ant and Dec horse loses race "Pop Idol looks like Eurovision from the 1970s, but I f**king loved it," says Young. Will Young: 'X Factor is too self-aware' Strictly pro says it would be "amazing" to see former Xtra Factor host on the dancefloor. Brendan Cole wants Caroline Flack for Strictly The singer spills on his new album, critics and working with Hilary Duff. Ed Sheeran: I still read all my reviews X Factor judge will reveal all in an "uncensored" and "raw" sitdown. First look: Cheryl talks betrayals in Elle Auditions for the ITV show's 11th series kick off in Manchester. X Factor judges: The first panel picture Kimye won't last. Rihanna's nude dress sucked - does the star agree with our showbiz statements? DS plays 'Sam Faiers or UnFaiers?' DS looks into its crystal ball to predict what X Factor rumours will come up. 8 predictable X Factor audition rumours See how the judges and presenters have dressed up for the first day of auditions. X Factor 2014 kicks off: First Pictures Standard edition of chart-topper's debut Chapter One will feature 13 new tracks. Ella Henderson confirms album release See 9 celebrity dads and their bundles of joy as we celebrated Father's Day, Cowell, more: Famous first-time dads The band discuss X Factor, their new single and chatting up girls. Rough Copy: 'We miss Uncle Gary' The 'Your Love' singer adds that Mel B "doesn't need any advice" on show. Scherzinger not invited back to X Factor Simon Cowell sets LP release date for Britain's Got Talent series eight winners. BGT winners Collabro sign with Cowell Flack's former co-host says new presenter has "big shoes to fill". Olly Murs talks Flack Xtra Factor exit Jamie Oliver, Mo Farah and John Bishop also feature on this year's list. McFly star named Celeb Dad of the Year 2008 X Factor winner also predicts that Mel B and Cheryl Cole will "get on great". Burke: 'Mel B will be fiery on X Factor' Matt Richardson also announces that he will not return for new series. Xtra Factor confirms Caroline Flack replacement Former X Factor winner says he is optimistic about the future. James Arthur: 'I'm no longer with Syco' Mel C says she is "really pleased" her Spice Girls bandmate is joining series. Mel C: 'Mel B is the best for X Factor' The final judge was confirmed today to be Spice Girl Mel B. Sara Cox confirms X Factor approach The singer says she needs to make her own way in the music business. Leona on Cowell: I need to spread my wings Mel B will join Simon Cowell, Cheryl Cole and Louis Walsh on the X Factor panel. X Factor: Mel B confirmed to join show