TV talent: It's a tough job – but someone's got to do it

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The Independent Online

Did the young Simon Cowell dream of growing up to become rich and famous so that he could single-handedly monotonise the entire UK music industry and surround himself with beautiful women whose job it could be to flirt with him? For Cowell, it is all in a day's world domination.

Like all canny world leaders, he started subtly. In 2004 he signed Louis Walsh and Sharon Osbourne as his co-judges on the first X Factor series. As the totty improved, so did the show's fortunes. Last year, with Dannii Minogue and Cheryl Cole competing in loveliness for the boss's attention, Alexandra Burke won. His other show, Britain's Got Talent, will pit the sickeningly gorgeous Kelly Brook against the already too pretty Amanda Holden, which almost guarantees it will be a virtuoso year – at least for Cowell.

Cheryl Cole

Like Bambi's mother but

with sexier hair, Cheryl Cole is apparently every man's dream. Sitting next to her quivering on the judging panel, Simon knew exactly who had the X factor.

Dannii Minogue

Only one 'X Factor' series back, Dannii Minogue was calling Simon "fanciable"; he was holding her hand. Then along came Cheryl,

and Dannii found out how the ditched contestants feel.

Kelly Brook

Announcing her appointment as the new 'Britain's Got Talent' judge, Simon said: "Kelly's great fun and she has absolutely no idea what she's let herself in for." Poor child.

Amanda Holden

When Amanda Holden started on 'Britain's Got Talent' she said: "Simon's not really nasty. He's a cuddly softie." Wait till he spurns her for Kelly and then see how nice she thinks he is.