Simon Cowell gets emotional recalling 'hardest thing that's ever happened' to him

Virgin Radio

10 Jun 2024, 14:36

Simon Cowell speaking on the Diary of a CEO podcast

Credit: The Diary of a CEO on YouTube

Simon Cowell got tearful while recollecting one of the “hardest things that’s ever happened” to him on a recent podcast.

Speaking with Steven Bartlett on his The Diary of a CEO podcast, the Britain’s Got Talent judge opened up about the effect that losing both of his parents had on his life.

“No question, losing both of my parents was the hardest thing that ever happened to me,” Cowell told the Dragon’s Den star. “The hardest thing when you lose your parents is you can’t even think about them afterwards because it’s too difficult, you know, everything is.”



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Cowell got emotional recalling how he found out about his father’s death in 1999 when he rang to celebrate a personal career achievement. “I called and I could just tell something wasn’t right,” he explained. “I think someone said to my mum ‘Don’t tell Simon while he’s [celebrating in America]’ and then I phoned back and she told me…

“I would have swapped everything I’d succeeded you know, to have kept him around,” he admitted, before adding while choking up: “And it was the longest trip home from America, that flight.”

As life has continued for Cowell, The X Factor star explained: “A lot of things I still do now, I still think ‘What would my dad say?’... I think he would have got a real kick out of seeing me on a TV show. I think he would have found the whole thing really funny… but at least he’d seen me succeed.”

Cowell’s mother died in 2015, but not before she was able to meet her grandchild Eric who was born in 2014, something which meant a lot to Cowell.

“I can sit here and honestly look you in the eye now and say - cause everyone says you know, when you lose them, ‘In time it’ll get better,’ and you think ‘No it won’t,’ - [but] the truth it does, as long as you believe, and you have to believe - that their presence is still there with you. And I do genuinely believe that with my mum and dad,” the music manager added. 

Speaking about a moment he once shared with son which made him “really start to believe” his parents were still “somehow” with him, he said: “[Eric] just looked up at the sky one night and he said ‘I’m thinking about Grandpa Eric and Julie’ and it was the way he said it, it was like ‘Gosh, why would you say that now?’”