Simon Cowell has finally admitted publicly that he is to become a father - with the X Factor mogul adding that he is "proud" his life is set to change completely.
Speaking at the world premiere of One Direction: This Is Us last night in London, Cowell, 53, confirmed reports that he is having his first child with New York socialite Lauren Silverman.
"Things are changing in my life right now, for the better," he told the BBC, adding: "I'm proud to be a dad."
Cowell, who previously dated Mezhgan Hussainy and Terri Seymour, said he had never previously contemplated becoming a dad - but did admit that he felt like a father to the five One Direction band-members whom he represents via his label Syco.
"[Fatherhood is] something I hadn't thought of before, but now I know I feel good about it," he said.
Speaking of his partner Lauren for the first time, he said: "She's a very special girl."
He previously remained tight-lipped about the story and refused to comment directly when he appeared at a press conference in Los Angeles earlier this month ahead of the new series of the US version of X Factor.
"I haven't read the newspapers," he joked when questioned about the reports.
Asked if his schedule would be affected by being a father, he replied: "I really haven't read the newspapers. Did I miss anything?"
He added: "Unfortunately, I have to keep this, for the moment, private. It's just one of those things. Thank you very much anyway."