“Work hard, be patient, and be a sponge as you learn your business. Learn to deal with criticism. Follow your gut instinct and don’t compromise ‘
A decade ago, in the distant pre-Brexit and pre-Covid era, it’s hard to convey just how much Simon Cowell and The x factor took up the national conversation. At its peak, 14 million people were watching the ITV show each week.
Cowell, who had a pretty stupid career as a music manager (his actors included the children’s dolls Zig & Zag), found his trade as the on-screen villain on television talent shows and created The x factor and to have talent Franchises, TV formats that he owned the rights to and sold worldwide.
After interviewing him backstage at his peak, I was the difference between fellow judge Louis Walsh’s locker room, littered with discarded makeup pancakes and yesterday’s fish ‘n’ chip wrappers, and Cowell’s Japanese zen green Room with private bathroom obsessed with Simon Cowell for cleanliness.
The other thing I noticed was how disarmingly nice Simon Cowell was in real life compared to the mime villain we saw on TV. But then again, as one of the characters in the Oscar-winning film parasite say the wealthier you are, the nicer you become. In 2019 the Sunday Times Rich List The calculated net worth is £ 385 million.
The era of manufactured bands like Girls Aloud and One Direction is now over, with stars organically created from their own social media. Cowell, the pop Svengali, is obsolete, and it’s not surprising ITV canceled the show in July 2021.
However, Simon Cowell and his talent shows gave us one of the most significant cultural markers of the noughties and in time he can be considered a legendary impresario, alongside Diaghilev, if not then PT Barnum.