Simon Cowell (Photo: Jon Kopaloff via Getty Images)
Simon Cowell has credited his son with saving his life after he became “obsessed” with work.
The music mogul, who is behind the huge TV hits Britain’s Got Talent and The X Factor, has admitted to being “really unhappy” until Eric, his son with fiancee Lauren Silverman, was born eight years ago.
“Before Eric, my life was 99 per cent work — I was obsessed with it,” the 63-year-old told The Sun.
“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.
“I was obsessed with beating the competition. I took it to a ridiculous level and I would get really down about that stuff, to the point I was depressed.”
(L-R) Lauren Silverman, Eric Cowell and Simon Cowell. (Photo: Steve Granitz via Getty Images)
Simon said his drive for work would force him to come up with “ridiculous ideas like the six-chair challenge” for The X Factor, which ended in December 2018.
“Should we have ended the show sooner? Maybe. We could have done, yeah,” he said in the newspaper.
“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.
“If he hadn’t come along, God knows what would have happened.”
Simon has previously said being “terrified” of burn-out from running his production company forced him to put his health first.
A consequence of reducing his workload was that he was able to spend more time with his son, picking him up from school and having dinner with him every night.
More family time also resulted from two significant electric bike injuries in recent years, including one in August 2020 in which he broke his back.
Simon Cowell shows the broken arm he suffered in a bicycle injury as he sits outside The Castle pub in London's Holland Park wearing his cast on 2 February 2022. (Photo: James Manning - PA Images via Getty Images)
Last week, Simon announced his latest project, StemDrop, which grants TikTok creators worldwide access to exclusive music “stems”, and invites them to produce their own versions of a brand-new song written by prolific hitmakers.
The project, led by Swedish record producer Max Martin and backed by Simion and Syco Entertainment along with Universal Music Group, has been described by Universal chairman and chief executive Sir Lucian Grainge as inviting “a new evolution of musical collaboration, curation and artist discovery”.
This article originally appeared on HuffPost UK and has been updated.