Here and in his own words, Cowell spills the beans on his superstar chums, including Madonna, Cheryl Cole and Piers 'Magnificent' Morgan - and not forgetting, of course, his secret passion for Angelina Jolie.
Gunned down by a fan, Cowell wakes up in hospital to find he's got no money, no home and no mates. Worse still, his face looks like it's been through a blender; a tough blow indeed for the vainest man in Britain.
Cowell is on a quest for fame and fortune. But will he ever be able to win back his elusive Mojo - The Sex Factor?
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Simon Cowell: The Sex Factor
Star-Maker Heart-Breaker Dream-Crusher
By Bill Coles
Legend Press LtdCopyright © 2011 Bill Coles
All rights reserved.
Those evil-weevil journalists always ask me the same question when they're grilling me about my life.
All the bottom-feeders really want to know is this: at what stage did I really feel that I'd reached rock bottom? At what stage did it hit me that things couldn't get much worse?
Doubtless those little weasels are hoping that I'll cry them a river as I recall last year's horrors. And I suppose they may have a point. There were a fair few nightmares to choose from. Take your pick: being nearly shot dead while I was on the very verge of bedding the world's most beautiful woman. Now that – that was vexing. (Just to clarify one point – I used to think she was the world's most beautiful woman. Though not any more – she's slipped way, w-a-a-a-y down the pole. I am so over her. Wouldn't touch her. Wouldn't touch her!)
Other little horrors from the past year? How about, just for the sake of example, losing all my money? Every damn penny of it. A bit of a blow that one.
Losing my fiancée in the most grotesque circumstances imaginable. Another bleak moment.
Losing my looks. Even worse.
And – just to give you one more little taster of what's in store – I reckon that my life reached another pretty low ebb when I was nearly crushed to death in the Sin-Seekers.
All to be revealed in the fullness of time.
But if I had to pick one single moment when I thought things couldn't get much worse, it would have to be when I was fresh out of hospital.
Picture the scene, dear reader: not a bean to my name and my face and body so covered in wounds that it was just this disgusting patchwork of skin and scar tissue.
But not to worry.
I hit the phones.
Started calling in a few favours.
Started calling up a few pals.
And, to put it mildly, things didn't go so well.
That's the tiny, niggling problem about friends, isn't it? Because although it's great to have 'friends', how many of us ever truly know who our 'friends' are? And that's especially so when you're a multi-millionaire, and your only mates are either the hangers-on or other celebs, both about as flaky as each other.
No – as we well know, there's only one true test of a friend and that comes when the shit hits the fan.
And boy did the shit hit the fan ...
Or, as one newspaper described my near demise, 'It was perhaps the first instance in recorded history of the fan hitting the shit ...'
Still – it all turned out for the best. As me and my friends like to say, 'You reaps what you sow.' (Note to Editor – is that right? Should it be My friends and me? My friends and myself? Haven't got a damn clue. But what I do know is that, if it's quite all right by you, I'd really prefer not to look like a moron because of some grammatical cock-up which YOU, with your fancy Double First from Oxford University, can't be bothered to check up on.)CHAPTER 2
Some of my celebrity pals seem to spend their entire lives hiding from the media. They dream of being able to walk down the street without being recognised. They yearn to have a normal conversation with a stranger without said-stranger suddenly turning into a stuttering tomato as they realise they're in the presence of a superstar.
Not me though; not one little bit! I love being famous! When people stop and point at me in the street, or when they do a double take as they spy me in Cinquante Cinq in St Tropez, I'm just purring. I'm lovin' it!
The real bugger though is when they don't recognise you. What the hell do you do when that happens?
This does occur to me occasionally, and all you can hope for is that the penny will eventually drop and that they'll blurt out a breathless apology.
Not this woman though. She'd checked my passport, stared at me for at least five seconds – and had still signally failed to realise that she was talking to a Platinum Grade A-lister.
"Purpose of flight?" she said. Surly she was, about of an age with myself, and yet shall we just say that old Father Time had not been so kind to her. Frown lines, greying hair and a revolting hairy mole on her cheek, like an unplucked spider.
"Purpose of my flight, Mandy?" I said, having clocked her name tag. "What's that got to do with the price of cheese?"
"The price of cheese?" She scratched at the mole with her finger. "What's that got to do with the purpose of your flight?"
"Absolutely nothing!" I crowed triumphantly. I brushed a speck of lint from my black bespoke suit – Turnbull and Asser, since you ask – and turned round to admire the terminal. We were in Los Angeles' most private airport, purpose-built for the exclusive use of the rich and famous.
And, as befits an airport terminal for the stars, the staff are usually not just great lookers but are also utterly besotted with their rich and gorgeous clientele.
Occasionally, however, there were some members of staff who failed to give of their very best.
The charmless Mandy gulped.
"Let me ask you again, Sir," she asked. "What is the purpose of your flight?"
"Listen to me, Mandy." I spoke sweetly, as if talking to a painfully retarded two-year-old. "You see that Jumbo jet out there? That Boeing 747 that is covered in 24-carat gold leaf and has over a thousand diamonds sparkling on its tail-fin? That is a private jet, Mandy, and it is here solely for my benefit. Getting the picture?" I caught sight of myself in the stainless steel counter – God I looked good – and since there was no-one else about, I gave myself a wry wink. There's no point in getting angry with these thickos, you see; most of 'em are just born thick, probably don't even know that they're morons, and so, ergo, we really can't hold their stupidity against them. ('Ergo' – that's Latin, see? It means 'therefore'. You, my friend, may perhaps be a little surprised at my extensive vocabulary. But shall I let you into a secret? The thing is: my TV persona is just that. It's nothing more than an image. When I'm on telly, I make it my business to come across as a snidey, arrogant toss-pot. But if you want to get a flavour of the real me, big words 'n' all, then tuck on in!)
"What is the purpose of your flight?" Mandy said robotically. She was getting a little tense. Well, I ask you: was that my problem?
I took a deep, deep breath and exhaled. Calm – that's how I felt. "May I ask you something, Mandy?" I asked.
"What is the purpose of your flight?"
God alive! Is there a special jobs bureau for cretins? I leant over the counter with my hands clasped together. Very masterful.
"In all my years of flying, that is a question that I have never been asked before. What possible relevance can it have to my flight?"
You know – that's what really pisses me off about Al Qaeda. I mean suicide bombers and Afghan wars notwithstanding, the thoughtless bastards have completely screwed up the security at every civilised airport on earth. Doesn't matter who you are, how rich you are, you've still got to go through the ignominy of taking off your belt and your little booties as you go through the scanners.
Mandy ploughed on: "May I ask you, one more time, what is the purpose of your flight?"
"For God's sake!" I said. "I'll bet you don't ask Tom Cruise that when he checks in! I'll bet you don't ask Mel Gibson! Does Angelina Jolie have to go through this drill every time she's on another jolly to Africa?"
"The purpose of your flight?"
"Listen Mandy, dear," I said. "How can the purpose of my flight have any bearing whatsoever on whether I'm about to plant a bomb on the plane?"
Hmmm. Perhaps a mistake.
As I've learned of late, when you're dealing with El Stupido, you should never underestimate quite how Stupido they can be.
Mandy's eyes turned to the size of doughnuts. "You're planting a bomb on the plane?"
"No, Mandy, no!" I said. "I'm asking you how, by learning about the purpose of my flight, you will be able to discern whether there's a bomb in my bag?"
Sometimes, you know, you can be too smart for your own good.
The panic button is pressed. A loud klaxon wails out across the terminal building. Mandy scrabbles away from the counter as if then and there I'm about to pull the pin from the clutch of grenades that are strapped to my belly. And, from out of nowhere, hidden doors fly open as a clutch of gun-toting storm-troopers pound towards me.
* * *
Fast forward approximately five minutes. I have been frogmarched into a soundproofed office.
And we have moved up a few pay grades too. I am now dealing with a guy in a blue suit, gold braid on his epaulettes. Grey hair and the scarred face of a boxer who's just never been taught how to moisturise properly.
Mr Gold Braid presses a button and back plays the conversation of a few minutes earlier. It's my syrupy voice; one, I may add, that I never tire of hearing. Sometimes I think I sound even better second time round – even without an edit.
"... there's a bomb in my bag."
Mr Gold Braid rewinds a second and plays it again: "There's a bomb in my bag."
The unnerving thing was that the man didn't actually say anything. He just raised his eyebrows.
Without my coat and shoes on, the air-conditioning was making things rather brisk.
"Look!" I said. "I'm sorry I don't know who you are – "
"McMicking," he said, before adding. "Chicken McMicking." (Chicken McMicking? Only in America.)
"Yes, well, anyway, Mr McMicking, I was not actually saying that I had a bomb in my bag. Your rather dowdy check-in girl, Mandy – "
"My mistress – "
"Yes, well, anyway ... that charming woman at the counter was asking me about the purpose of my flight. I was merely trying to ascertain what possible bearing this could have on whether there was a bomb in my bag."
His eyes shot up, as if then and there I'd kicked him in the shins. The three guards behind me stiffened. Is that really what happens when you sign up to airport security? You hear the word 'bomb' and your default setting is that Al Qaeda is going to blow the place sky-high?
"Okey-dokey," said McMicking. "We've cut you enough slack. Now strip!"
"Strip?" I laughed. "You want me to strip here? In this room? Now?"
"Take off your clothes. Otherwise I will authorise my guards to do it for you."
"No need for that!" I said. "I'll take off my clothes! All of them! I'll do it right now! Though don't get your hopes up – it is a little chilly!"
Now, I must confess that most people would be none too happy at having to strip off in front of a bunch of strangers. But then again – they probably don't possess a body that's been pumped and toned (and indeed strimmed) to perfection. So – I was damn proud of my body and didn't care who saw it. Shame there weren't any ladies amongst the security guards, but you can't have everything, eh?
I peeled off my two silk socks; unbuckled my belt.
Though it was rather unnerving to see the three guards all standing there, machine-guns cocked, fingers on the triggers.
"Steady on chaps!" I said cheerily. "What do you think I'm going to do? Pull a grenade out of my arse?"
With a gun now not six inches from my head, I very, very carefully peeled off my last article of clothing, a pair of white budgie-smugglers. There was, I like to think, a rather awestruck silence.
"Okey-dokey," said McMicking, as he whipped out a small torch. "Lean over, hands on the desk."
"Guys!" I said. "Is this really necessary?"
I spread my legs – and I think that at this stage, I would prefer to cast a discreet veil over the various goings-on behind me.
"Hmmm." It was McMicking. His voice actually seemed to be emanating from my nether regions. He coughed. "We're gonna need a bigger flashlight."CHAPTER 3
Perhaps it might have been easier all round if I'd just told Mandy that I was off to a charity dinner. But, you know, it was all of apiece with how I'd been feeling about this wretched dinner for the whole of the previous week. I knew that for the first time I was going to be seriously – seriously – out of my depth.
The thing was that in those palmy days Before The Shit Hit The Fan, I used to define myself and everyone else by how much money we all had. So what if I might come across as a bit of a git? Just check out the bank balance! Read them zeroes – just read 'em! Just so long as MY bank balance was bigger than YOUR bank balance, then we all knew exactly where we stood in the pecking order. This was all fine and dandy while I was just swimming around in this dingy little pond that's called the UK. It was my home and I loved it – because I used to be the biggest, fattest fish in the water.
And yet suddenly I was going off to Seattle to swim in the biggest pond on earth – and although I could brag about the stars on my books and the hit songs that I'd crafted, come the end of the day, the bank balances were never going to lie. No, in this particular pond I was going to be up against hammerheads, great whites, orcas, elephant seals ... not to mention the great white whale himself: Bill Gates.
Compared to all those monsters of the deep, I suppose I was more of a barracuda. I could take a few chunks out of them, a little nip here and a chomp there, but there was only one possible outcome for the evening and that was with poor little Simon being served up as chopped sushi.
I guess I was probably more famous than most of those guys. Certainly better looking. And in my Blackberry, I must have had the phone numbers of probably about a hundred of the world's most up and coming pop-stars.
But still I felt uneasy.
And after my contretemps with the LA airport guards, it seemed as if the very wind itself was scented with disaster.
As you may recall, I was wearing a bespoke Turnbull and Asser suit, complete with white shirt and straight black tie. Oh yes – and just in case you were wondering, my suits are all handmade and all come with extraordinarily high waistbands as standard. (Haha! A joke at my own expense! See – life's about having fun!)
And finally, after only the most thorough cavity-search ever inflicted upon a human being, I hobbled on board Gates' jumbo jet; Gates' personal jumbo jet that he had sent all the way down to LA to pick me up. Just the crew and little ol' me! But let me just tell you one thing, my friend: even for us billionaires, there's no such thing as a free jumbo ride.
The jumbo lands in Seattle – all for me! Just for me! – and there on the runway is a stretch limo with, of all things, an ultra-glamorous chauffeuse. A brunette. Nice touch. Gates knew my weak spot.
"Let me take your bag Sir," she said, fixing me with the loveliest smile.
"Thanks very much," I said, thinking to myself that this chauffeuse bore a remarkable resemblance to Cheryl Cole. Gates definitely knew my weak spot. And then I realised. It was Cheryl Cole.
"And how was your flight Sir?" she breezes.
"Cheryl!" I said. "I didn't even know you could drive!"
"Just passed me test!"
We fish-tailed out of the airport and sped off into the Seattle dusk. I sat snug in the back admiring Cheryl's exquisite profile. You cannot believe how sexy she looked in that chauffeur's cap and tight grey jacket, all rather martial and 'I'm coming to spank you'.
It seemed as if she had all but read my thoughts.
"Isn't this fun?" she said as she pouted and put on more lipstick. "Maybe tonight's going to be your lucky night."
I goggled at her. Tonight was my lucky night? She didn't seriously ... I mean I'd fancied her for AGES. Ever since I'd seen her, years before, in that tight little black dress, with that pinball smile and that huge wedge of extensions. That, of course, was the only reason that I'd ever got her on The X Factor panel – just for the smallest opportunity to get into her pants. Certainly didn't get her on board for her 'talent-spotting skills' if that's what you're thinking. But then there was Ashley Cole, and the dancers, and all the rest of the guys, and somehow, somewhere along the way, poor little Simon got left by the wayside. And so I'd never dreamed ... I'd never DREAMED that I was ever in with a chance! I mean I had to be a good twenty years older than her. Not that that's ever stopped me before. But still ... Cheryl!
"What, tonight?" I said. "Tonight's my lucky night?"
"Well it just might be," she said, and then the she-devil got out a little round lollipop and started to suck on it. She always was the most perfect tease.
Excerpted from Simon Cowell: The Sex Factor by Bill Coles. Copyright © 2011 Bill Coles. Excerpted by permission of Legend Press Ltd.
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