Slow Down, Simon Cowell

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Slow Down, Simon Cowell

Post  eddie on Mon Apr 11, 2011 9:37 pm

'Slow down Simon' - Cowell's mum fears for his health

by Candy Bellinger, Apr 11th 2011


We've no doubt it takes plenty of hard graft to become the world's most famous, multi-millionaire TV mogul but there are fears that Simon Cowell's upcoming work schedule could be the death of him.

According to The Sun, Simon's 84-year-old mum Julie is worried that his busy workload may be putting his health at risk.

An insider told the paper: "Simon's mum is freaking out. His family think he's doing too much and are telling him to slow down before his workload seriously damages his health.

"There's no point being the richest man in the cemetery."

The fact that Cowell is a famously heavy smoker is only adding to fears that he may end up suffering a heart attack like his father.

What with production work on America's Got Talent, the much-hyped US X Factor, a possible behind-the-scenes role on the UK version and the new, Ant and Dec-fronted roulette game show Red or Black set for a June pilot, his diary is looking pretty packed.

The source added: "It's too much for one person."
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Re: Slow Down, Simon Cowell

Post  eddie on Sun Feb 26, 2012 3:39 am


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Re: Slow Down, Simon Cowell

Post  pinhedz on Sun Feb 26, 2012 4:50 am


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Re: Slow Down, Simon Cowell

Post  eddie on Sat Mar 24, 2012 12:43 am

Simon Cowell steps up BBC rivalry as he launches Britain's Got Talent

Creator of ITV1's Britain's Got Talent questions if the BBC should be doing Saturday night singing contest The Voice

John Plunkett

guardian.co.uk, Friday 23 March 2012 00.00 GMT


The fame game … Simon Cowell, far right, at the Britain's Got Talent press launch. Photograph: Ken Mckay/Rex Features

Simon Cowell has told the BBC to "get their sense of humour back" over the rivalry between The Voice and Britain's Got Talent.

Cowell, who will return to ITV1's Britain's Got Talent as a judge when the new series starts on Saturday – the same night as the launch of BBC1's The Voice – questioned whether the BBC should be doing a Saturday night singing contest.

He defended the scheduling of the ITV show saying he had "every right to arm ourselves so we are in a good place to beat them".

Cowell, speaking at the launch of Britain's Got Talent on Thursday, said he would be watching The Voice but only "about five minutes of it. Not the whole thing".

"Of course [the BBC] is in the business of doing [talent shows]. But when you get to a point where … you mess around with the schedule and it affects the viewers, when you go head to head that to me is silly rivalry," he added.

"Of course I love competition but if you ask do we need another singing talent show I would query whether you do or not. In my opinion they don't like the fact The X Factor is successful.

"They have every right to compete with us and we have every right to arm ourselves so we are in a good place to beat them."

The BBC has accused ITV of moving Britain's Got Talent in the schedules to go head to head with The Voice. ITV has said by scheduling The Voice in March – Britain's Got Talent traditionally launches in April – the two were always going to clash.

Asked about his comment that he had decided to "punish" the BBC by poaching Strictly Come Dancing judge Alesha Dixon to join the judging panel of Britain's Got Talent, he said it was "all a bit of fun".

"I had approached Alesha to join X Factor a long time ago. Once we decided we were going to make [Britain's Got Talent] four people on the panel, I thought I would love Alesha to be on the show," Cowell added.

"Part of me thought to myself there is so much rivalry with Strictly and X Factor, they are always messing around with the schedule, The Voice was 100% intended to be a competing show to X Factor so I thought great, we'll nick Alesha."

Dixon said it was a "different vibe" on the ITV1 show to Strictly Come Dancing. "On this show I have come into myself, I feel like more of myself on this show," she said.

Of her decision to switch channels, Dixon added: "It's not about the money, it's about doing different things. I honestly don't make decisions based on money, that's the truth."

The BBC have been talking up the credibility of The Voice, including its "coaches", who include Sir Tom Jones and Jessie J, and the standard of the singers taking part.

Cowell said: "I think they better get their sense of humour back. It was intimated that I had offered Tom Jones a role on one of my shows.

"I met the guy once in Vegas. I think the offer he was thinking about was Opportunity Knocks, it wasn't one of my shows.

"They are winding this up to try and be like it's a big kind of battle. It's not. The shows go out at the same time, may the best one win.

"In terms of credibility it's down to being good and being successful. I tell you what I am going to do, I am going to back my talent against their's this year, that's for sure."

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Re: Slow Down, Simon Cowell

Post  eddie on Tue Apr 10, 2012 11:42 pm

Paul Weller hits out at TV talent shows

Former Jam frontman derides shows such as The X Factor and The Voice, saying he would be 'embarrassed' to take part

Helen Pidd and agencies

The Guardian, Tuesday 10 April 2012


Sonik Kicks is Weller's fourth solo number one album but success hasn't mellowed his feelings about TV talent shows. Photograph: David Levene for the Guardian

Elton John called them "boring, paralysing, brain crippling". Michael Parkinson said they had "downgraded" television and were "doing damage to all of us".

Now it is Paul Weller's turn at playing the grumpy old man by laying into TV talent shows – or rather, "effing talent shows" – and saying he would be "embarrassed" to take part.

The former frontman of the Jam told the Radio Times that he would never become a judge on competition shows such as The Voice or The X Factor.

Weller, 53, derided the current crop of TV talent shows as "Saturday-night viewing for the masses", adding: "Would I be a judge? Would I hell."

Asked whether Simon Cowell should be given some credit after The X Factor alumni One Direction became the first British band to hit No 1 in the US with their debut album, he said: "Dunno, 'cause I've never heard 'em. I do know what you're talking about. But I wouldn't give him anything, personally."

He told the magazine: "I'd be too embarrassed to be on those shows. You get some of these kids who think they're a little bit 'edgy', got a bit of a Pete Doherty haircut. You're not edgy, really, mate. Otherwise you wouldn't be on an effing talent show, would you?"

Pianist and TV presenter Jools Holland, who was also interviewed by the magazine, agreed, saying: "Yeah, you'd kick the microphone over, say, 'It's a load of old bollocks, see you later … "

Holland added: "Budding artists need a break, I suppose. But music's not like a competition. It's an art form. I wouldn't knock the competition shows if that's what people want to do.

"But there's a difference between having it like a game show and having it as something that connects with your spirit and moves you … that's what music's supposed to be about."

Weller, who recently notched up the fourth No 1 album of his solo career, has previously criticised The X Factor, calling it "very cheap programming and the lowest common denominator stuff".

Cowell bit back with the wonderfully condescending promise to put Weller on one of his TV shows – but only if he put out a good record.

But despite his criticisms of TV talent shows, Weller does apparently tune in: at least according to Noel Gallagher. The former Oasis guitarist and songwriter outed Weller the last time he got on his anti-X Factor soapbox.

Speaking on Sky Arts 1's Jo Whiley Music Show in 2010, Gallagher said: "Weller watches it. He denies it, but I know for a fact that he does because his daughter is one of my daughter's best friends. "I'd go to her: 'Did you watch The X Factor?', and she said, 'Yeah, watched it with my dad.' And I'd say: 'Well that is interesting.'"

Weller later told ShortList: "Yeah, I do watch it, but I also watch Peppa Pig with my six-year-old boy. And I'm more of a fan of Peppa Pig than I am of The X Factor. If anything, it makes more sense."

He added: "I watch EastEnders with my missus because she's mad for it, and Ben 10's my little boy's favourite, but it doesn't mean I really love those programmes. It's just something you have to do."

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Re: Slow Down, Simon Cowell

Post  eddie on Fri Apr 27, 2012 6:03 pm

Sweet Revenge: The Intimate Life of Simon Cowell by Tom Bower – review

He's been the linchpin of top-rating TV for a decade, but we still know little about Cowell the man. This book doesn't help much

Marina Hyde

guardian.co.uk, Thursday 26 April 2012 11.00 BST


King of pop … Simon Cowell with fellow The X Factor judge Dannii Minogue in 2010. Photograph: Ken McKay/TalkbackThames/Rex Features

"Rosebud," croaks Charles Foster Kane with his dying breath, the mysterious utterance symbolic of what drives Orson Welles's antihero to become a monster of his time. A reporter embarks on a doomed struggle to find out what he meant by it – and similar questions are being asked about Simon Cowell in Sweet Revenge. What drives the TV music mogul? What does he mean by it all?


Sweet Revenge: The Intimate Life of Simon Cowell
by Tom Bower

Whether or not you care for Cowell's output is irrelevant. The unavoidable fact is that TV audiences here and in America have spent a decade gripped by top-rating productions in which he is the linchpin, which should make this a story of the age as much as of the man. Cowell has had an extraordinarily sustained ability to gauge and manipulate public taste. Others cast him as a kingmaker – a Sun splash on election morning claimed his endorsement for David Cameron, while Gordon Brown agonised at a perceived transfer in his affections. The assumption is that there must be more to him than meets the eye. What does he want with us?

Revenge, is the conclusion of Tom Bower's biography, for which he has spoken to a range of sources and been granted 200 hours of time with Cowell himself. Revenge against the music industry snobs who sneered at him when he was producing novelty records, but most of all, revenge against American Idol owner Simon Fuller, with whom he fought a legal battle over who got credit for being "creator" of Pop Idol (Cowell vowed to create a rival programme). The list of Fuller-crimes is as endless as it is oddly evanescent. Perhaps the only things more forgettable are most of the artists produced by Cowell's shows, whom the public embrace feverishly, then drop in the cold light of the off-season. A bit like in A Midsummer Night's Dream when Titania awakes and realises she's spent the night copping off with a donkey.

Simon Cowell does not cop off with donkeys, he'd very much like you to know. Contrary to the second or third most enduring rumour in showbiz, he is straight. Look! A Page 3 girl! A stripper! Sinitta! Yet puzzlement remains, and Cowell's fervent assertion that he is drawn to "crazy women" elevates the troupe of exes who have become his closest friends into something more intriguing than they are. They are neither super-gorgeous in the classic "trophy" mould, nor do they appear to be remotely amusing or interesting. They tend to be flatterers, and to varying degrees financially dependent on him. Bower observes the sex-free harem seconded to his holiday yacht. Dinners at these ladies' favourite restaurants are granted on the proviso that: "We'll speak about general matters for the first five minutes and the rest of the time we'll speak about me."

Meanwhile, Cowell's own body is a temple at which he is the most fanatical worshipper. Whether he is a sexual narcissist in the clinical sense one can't say, but his most recent major relationship was with his own make-up artist. Quelle surprise to learn that he talked to some Swiss "scientists" about cryogenically freezing his corpse after death for later reanimation. (The idea is shelved when he hears unfavourable reports about the clinic.)

Cowell's entire life seems to be an ersatz version of something else. Professionally, his X Factor is a near-copy of Pop Idol, while privately almost every one of his serious girlfriends has previously been out with his brother or a close friend. Cowell doesn't tend to pinch them; he merely takes up with them some time after the original relationship has run its course. Even his love affairs are simulacra. But then this is a man would always rather listen to those two actors from ITV's Soldier Soldier sing "Unchained Melody" than the Righteous Brothers, and who'd always rather hear a poignantly-backstoried teen fail to master "I Will Always Love You" than he would hear Whitney Houston's version.

His lack of imagination is by turns stunning and comic. The embodiment of the cliche that money's just a way of keeping score, he predictably begins holidaying on superyachts and commissioning ghastly sounding minimalist houses. He "hates vulgarity", apparently. The ex-girlfriends aside, he seems to have about two friends, at one point describing Louis Walsh – less a man than an X Factor-plot device, thanks to Cowell's multiple sackings and putdowns – as "my best male friend".

Of particular amusement are peripheral characters such as his relatively new friend Philip Green, the Topshop boss who, for all his billions, is clearly a starstrucker who realises that retail is showbiz for people too ugly even for politics. Green flies across the Atlantic to negotiate TV deals on behalf of Cowell for no fee, evidently just grateful for the chance to rub up against his world.

As for Cowell's own motivations, the revenge narrative that so dominates the book is not wholly convincing. At his last American Idol wrap party, an anonymous "curious bystander" overhears Cowell spelling it out to Fuller with sledgehammer simplicity: "All I've done – Britain's Got Talent, The X Factor and much more – is revenge for what you did to me. And there's much more to come."

Then again, perhaps people really do talk like this, because Cowell is nothing if not assiduous about making his personal semiotics accessible to even the most illiterate observer. Journalist visitors to his homes are frequently shown lots of mirrors and sparsely hung wardrobes, and dutifully chronicle both his "vanity" and "surprising austerity". Thus Cowell comes across as a man half-drunk on the power of working the levers of public taste, and half-depressed at how easy people make it for him. Only last week TV hosts were lapping up the spectacle of publicity ingenu Max Clifford wringing his hands about all the tales of hot hetero passion "exposed" by the book. Even Cowell's PR games are camp.

Of course, the irony after this book's serialisation is that Cowell has never looked gayer, for all his faux-distress as having been revealed to have briefly had it off with Dannii Minogue (such a pink pound favourite that Popjustice once reviewed a single of hers with the exhortation: "Buy shares in amyl nitrate now"). You would think the issue is not what he does in bed, but why he feels the need to present his sex life as he does – but then you'd have overestimated the public (a mistake Cowell never makes). The Sun wouldn't have splashed on his conquests for six consecutive days last week if they didn't shift papers.

For my money, though, it would be nice if fewer of those 200 hours had been spent establishing when Cowell got off with Dannii, and more on his reflections on being such an epoch-defining popular tastemaker. The legendary US TV producer Aaron Spelling is briefly cited as an inspiration – one doubts Cowell has heard of MGM's Irving Thalberg – but Cowell differs from his notional predecessors in his desire to be on camera himself.

A parentally indulged child whose nickname was "Mummy, look at me", he rose to orchestrating TV shows that make Triumph of the Will look like the first rehearsal of a playschool nativity play. Bower does unearth grimly entertaining tales of the shows' micromanagement, detailing the board-level discussions that take place over such characters as "a computer nerd" who enters American Idol. "I want him," says Cowell. "I want someone I can pick on." Such are the creatures against whom this powerful multi-millionaire chooses to define himself.

But why? Alas, Cowell's Rosebud eludes this book. Perhaps even now the flames are licking round a metaphorical sled, whose symbolism will never be disclosed. Or perhaps there is nothing there – a vast nullity at the heart of the man able to hold so many in his thrall. Perhaps the word he utters with his dying breath will be something like "sausages" or "Sinitta". Still, Welles said the Rosebud device was concocted as "the only way we could find to get off, as they used to say in vaudeville" – and Bower accomplishes that task with a wry final page detailing Cowell's enthusiasm for colonic irrigation. We have not yet got to the bottom of Cowell, but we have certainly got to Cowell's bottom.

• Marina Hyde's Celebrity: How Entertainers Took Over the World and Why We Need an Exit Strategy is published by Vintage.

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