Nicki Chapman: Simon Cowell likes to 'crush' people with his comments, but he always expected it back

·3-min read
Simon Cowell with Peter Waterman, Ant and Dec, Nicki Chapman and DJ and Pop Idol host Neil Fox at the launch of Pop Idol in 2003 in London. (Photo by Steve Finn/Getty Images)
Simon Cowell with Peter Waterman, Ant and Dec, Nicki Chapman and DJ and Pop Idol host Neil Fox at the launch of Pop Idol in 2003 in London. (Photo by Steve Finn/Getty Images)

Nicki Chapman says Simon Cowell liked to 'crush' women in games of 'cat and mouse' but that he would always expect to get it back as well.

The former Pop Idol judge, who worked with acts like the Spice Girls, Take That and Annie Lennox in the 90s, said she often got asked what Cowell was like in real life.

The Escape to the Country presenter told Kate Thornton on White Wine Question Time that Cowell would ask her questions like 'what have you come as today?' but says she knew it was always 'done in jest'.

She said: "He just used to like crush [people] – and it was mainly women, let's be honest. Most of the women would really give it back and he would love it.

WATCH: Nicki Chapman on Pop Idol, what she loves most about Simon Cowell, and how the music industry's changed since the 90s

"It was cat and mouse with him. I was lucky because we had that reputation together because we'd worked together. I knew him, it was done in jest."

She said that many other people who had worked with them though had found him 'really intimidating'.

Chapman added: "But he loves it. He puts it out there, he wants it back. If he's gonna be rude to people he wants it back in bucketloads."

Pop Idol judges from left to right; Simon Cowell, Nicki Chapman and Pete Waterman with their TV entertainment programme of the award during the 2002 TRIC (Television & Radio Industries Club) Awards at the Le Meridien Grosvenor House Hotel in London.
Pop Idol judges from left to right; Simon Cowell, Nicki Chapman and Pete Waterman with their TV entertainment programme of the award during the 2002 TRIC (Television & Radio Industries Club) Awards at the Le Meridien Grosvenor House Hotel in London.

Chapman and Cowell were judges together on the first Pop Idol series in 2001, but had worked together previously with some of the biggest acts of the 90s, with Chapman managing the Spice Girls and working with acts such as David Bowie.

Listen to the full episode to hear Nicki talk about getting into TV, managing the Spice Girls, and the world of 90s music

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White Wine Question Time Banner

She said at the height of his fame, people would ask her what Cowell was really like, and she described him as 'the ultimate dinner party guest', but said he was always late for everything.

She said: "Even Ant and Dec used to be sitting down for like three hours. When we were judging, I can remember instances when you watch the show and there's no Simon.

AMERICA'S GOT TALENT --
Simon Cowell is part of the panel on America's Got Talent (Trae Patton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)

"And it's not because he's ill, we just couldn't wait any longer. We'd have to start filming because he didn't turn up till midday. And that never changed!"

She said she was sure Cowell's life was different now, but that when they worked together, he would get into work at midday, work late and have dinners, because he was a night owl.

Read more: 'Britain's Got Talent' judges reunite with Simon Cowell as auditions get underway

Thornton and Chapman remembered working together on the first series of Pop Idol, which launched the careers of Will Young and Gareth Gates, with Chapman saying their careers had run 'side by side'.

Chapman said part of her felt like the show just happened yesterday. She added: "And then another part thinks, I don't think it ever happened. It's weird.

"But such fond memories and life changing for me, it really was."

WATCH: Nicki Chapman on managing the Spice Girls in the 90s

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