Simon Cowell is having a baby with the wife of a close friend - but he remains as inscrutable as ever

His achievements are huge, but defy logic. He is a considerable power in the global music industry without, it seems, having much interest in actual music

Share
Related Topics

It is hard for ordinary mortals to fathom what goes on behind the cold eyes and razor-thin smile of Simon Philip Cowell. His achievements are huge, but defy logic. He has contrived to build a transatlantic reputation (and a £225m fortune) on television programmes which, reduced to their basic essence, encourage multitudes of fame-hungry dreamers to stand before him and be judged. He is a considerable power in the global music industry without, it seems, having much interest in actual music. He has a reputation for devastating wisecracks and coruscating wit for which there is, sadly, no available evidence.

His emotional life seems equally inscrutable. Mr Cowell has a reputation for dating glamorous women, breaking up with them because of his chronic aversion to marriage (“It’s a boring routine”) but remaining friends, buying them property and inviting them en masse on yacht or cruise holidays. His biographer Tom Bower described how a “harem” of girlfriends and ex-lovers travels with him, and how Cowell’s “greatest comfort was lying on a couch between [two of them], watching a film and grazing on simple food suitable for kids in a nursery.”

The equilibrium of Cowell’s micro-managed life has now, however, been upset by media reports alleging that his friend Lauren Silverman, estranged wife of a close friend Andrew Silverman, is expecting his child. Reports from the harem suggest a general astonishment that a man who exerts such iron control over his life could “make this kind of mistake”. So – would he be happy to be a father? Has the iron self-discipline mellowed? Or is this alleged major development in his life a grotesque blunder?

A look at Cowell’s family background helps to make sense of it. The family name Cowell is an English version of the Irish patronymic “MacCathmhaoil” meaning “son of the Battle Chief.” Simon Cowell is the chieftain’s son who eclipsed his father (Eric, a music company executive) to become Chief. His life has for years been that of a Roman emperor, whose reign is all-powerful and whose judgemental thumb can mean life or death to ordinary mortals. Did you notice how, lately, in talent shows, he never says “I think you’re a talented singer”, he merely says “Y’know - I like you”? That’s the imperial note, right there - capricious, solipsistic, pitiless. To me the harem strikes a similar note, along with arpeggios of Sultanic self-indulgence

And now, if there’s another Cowell, and (if it’s a boy) another “son of the Battle Chief” on the way, to eclipse the chief in his turn, steal his thunder and acquire his riches, it’s no wonder – with all this fuss – that the potentate of pop must, temporarily, be getting the blues.

React Now

  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Product Marketing Manager - Software & Services

£35000 - £45000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Product Marketing Manager...

Recruitment Genius: Exhibition Sales Executive - OTE £35,000

£16000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An expanding B2B exhibition and...

Recruitment Genius: QA Technician

£16000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This leading manufacturer of re...

Recruitment Genius: Office Administrator

£20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Due to expansion, an experienced and hig...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

Children shouldn’t even know the word 'diet' — obesity and lack of body confidence are symptoms of the same cause

Natasha Devon
Rihanna, Nicki Minaj, Madonna, Deadmau5, Kanye West and Jay-Z at the Tidal launch event in New York  

Tidal: An overpriced music streaming service that only benefits the super-rich members of a messianic-like cult? Where do I sign up??

Michael Segalov
General Election 2015: The masterminds behind the scenes

The masterminds behind the election

How do you get your party leader to embrace a message and then stick to it? By employing these people
Machine Gun America: The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons

Machine Gun America

The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons
The ethics of pet food: Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?

The ethics of pet food

Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?
How Tansy Davies turned 9/11 into her opera 'Between Worlds'

How a composer turned 9/11 into her opera 'Between Worlds'

Tansy Davies makes her operatic debut with a work about the attack on the Twin Towers. Despite the topic, she says it is a life-affirming piece
11 best bedside tables

11 best bedside tables

It could be the first thing you see in the morning, so make it work for you. We find night stands, tables and cabinets to wake up to
Italy vs England player ratings: Did Andros Townsend's goal see him beat Harry Kane and Wayne Rooney to top marks?

Italy vs England player ratings

Did Townsend's goal see him beat Kane and Rooney to top marks?
Danny Higginbotham: An underdog's tale of making the most of it

An underdog's tale of making the most of it

Danny Higginbotham on being let go by Manchester United, annoying Gordon Strachan, utilising his talents to the full at Stoke and plunging into the world of analysis
Audley Harrison's abusers forget the debt he's due, but Errol Christie will always remember what he owes the police

Steve Bunce: Inside Boxing

Audley Harrison's abusers forget the debt he's due, but Errol Christie will always remember what he owes the police
No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat