Simon Cowell says he was ‘obsessed with TV ratings’ and ‘really unhappy’ before becoming a father

Eric, who is named after Cowell’s late father, is his son with fiancee Lauren Silverman.

Benjamin Cooper
Monday 31 October 2022 09:08 GMT
Simon Cowell's baby born

Simon Cowell has said he was “really unhappy” and working too much before the birth of his eight-year-old son.

The British TV personality, who created Britain’s Got Talent and The X-Factor, admitted that he was “obsessed” with work prior to the arrival of Eric – his son with fiancée Lauren Silverman.

“I got to that point where everything was about, ‘If you’re not rating against this then you’re a failure’ and I stopped enjoying what I was doing and I was miserable the whole time,” the 63-year-old said.

In an interview with The Sun on Saturday (29 October), Cowell revealed that he was “obsessed with beating the competition” such as the BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing.

“I took it to a ridiculous level and I would get really down about that stuff, to the point [where] I was depressed,” he added.

His drive for work would force him to come up with “ridiculous ideas like the six-chair challenge” for The X-Factor, Cowell also said.

Reflecting on the ITV series that was concluded in 2018, Cowell confessed: “That last year was very much an ego-driven thing. We had to be better than everyone else, but I didn’t enjoy it.

“I was really unhappy. But now Eric is around, I don’t work through the night anymore,” he continued, adding, “If he hadn’t come along, God knows what would have happened.

Elsewhere in the interview, Cowell claimed that he would “jump off a cliff” if he started going on game shows after The X Factor came to an end.

Earlier this year, Cowell said he was “terrified” of burn-out from running his production company and had an “unhealthy addiction to work”.

He said the decision to reduce his for workload meant he was able to spend more time with Eric, who is named after Cowell’s late father.

“He’s really a sweet little boy and I love him to death,” he told The Sun in April.

He also took more family time after suffering two significant electric bike injuries in recent years, including one in August 2020 in which he broke his back.

In an interview with OK! this year, he said the 2020 accident was “a lot worse than people thought” and that he had suffered “a lot of long-term nerve damage as well”.

Additional reporting by press agencies.

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