Simon Cowell surprised everyone last week as he likes to do from time to time. It was announced he’ll be taking a step back from being in front of the camera in order to focus on his role as a producer for his forthcoming TV talent show Walk The Line.
My old mucker, Gary Barlow, will be replacing Simon, ending their so-called “feud”.
Cowell recently underwent surgery after breaking his back in an accident on an electric bike at his home in Malibu last year.
And, of course, he has a family to look after now, too. At 62 is him stepping away from being in front of the camera a sign that he’s winding down?
Unlikely. Simon has always worked just as hard behind the scenes to make things work.
I first met Simon when I was 16 and working at Radio Clyde; well when I say I met Simon I actually met a man in a dog suit, believe it or not.
That was back in the day when Simon was a record promoter and he was promoting a single by an artist called Wonderdog, and the song was Ruff Mix!
Simon was in the Wonderdog suit and he was so warm I had to feed him a drink through a straw as he couldn’t take the head off!
Years later, he’d become world famous for taking the head off others as a scabrous talent show judge.
I had no idea what he looked like, I just met Wonderdog. A week or so after our first “meeting” I was out to do a gig in a Glasgow night club.
It was there I bumped into another record industry pal of mine and his friend.
“Meet Simon Cowell,” he offered by way of introduction.
Simon replied for me: “We already have, but I was a dog and he couldn’t see my face!”
Simon worked really hard behind the scenes back then and he’s never changed.
We’ve crossed paths many times since then and shared a lot of laughs and cups of tea in his many different LA mansions.
I was here when he started on American Idol after becoming a massive TV personality in the UK. When he travelled across the pond a lot of commentators said that he couldn’t be that nasty to people here in the US and survive…
The Simon I know has always been a bit of a workaholic so I’m delighted he’s taking more time with the family. Well, it’s not like he’s got a big mortgage to worry about!
Meanwhile I arrived back in the US after a visit home last week to a text from Gary Barlow.
“I’m really excited,” he said about Walk The Line. “I’ve had a sneak peak at the acts and it’s the best talent I’ve seen in years!”
Which is odd because he saw me do karaoke recently. Must have slipped his mind?
On the plane home I binged all of The Morning Show, an Apple+ series about a Breakfast Show. Why would I be obsessed about that, I wonder?
The two leads, Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon, are great, but Billy Crudup steals the show. Check it out!
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