Simon Cowell Reveals How Parenthood Has Changed Him

After engagement rumors started to circulate at the beginning of the year, Simon Cowell confirmed that he and longtime girlfriend Lauren Silverman are getting married, according to Hello!. Per People, the couple reportedly got together in 2013 and welcomed their son Eric into the world the following year. While his TV persona hasn't changed much, Simon has certainly revealed a softer side to his character since becoming a father. It's this same side that spurred him on to finally marry Silverman. "I've kind of felt myself engaged for a long time," he told the The UK Sun. "Lockdown and COVID was probably make or break for many relationships." He further added that their time together helped him to realize that they actually "get on really, really well."

The couple's son Eric Cowell was also a deciding factor in their engagement. "As he gets older, he will be asked more and more about his parents, and I thought it was the right thing to do for him," Simon told The UK Sun. Eric was also a major part of the engagement himself, and even coached Simon on the proposal beforehand. "He was a big part of it," Simon told Entertainment Tonight in February 2022. Clearly, Simon's relationship with Silverman makes him extremely happy, especially when it comes to Eric. Since the birth of his song, the media mogul hasn't shied away from speaking about how much parenthood has changed him.

Simon Cowell named his son Eric after his late father

Born on Valentine's Day 2014, Eric Cowell made his Twitter debut cupped in his father, Simon Cowell's hands. In a separate Twitter post, Simon expressed that he "never knew how much love and pride" he would feel as a father. In naming his son Eric, Simon paid tribute to his late father who died in 1999 at the age of 81, per the Daily Mail. The two shared a close relationship, and Simon would often phone his Dad to keep him updated with his various achievements. 

However, it was during one of these same calls that Simon discovered his father had died. "I phoned him to tell him about [Westlife's] Number One, because that's what I did — when something good happened, I called my dad," he told the Daily Mail. His mom didn't have the heart to tell him at first, but eventually managed to break the news. "It was the ultimate irony," Simon continued. "The worst thing that could happen and the best — all in one day. It just shocked me to the core. I just never thought my dad wouldn't be around."

Simon Cowell believes his son is one of the most amazing things in his life

While Simon Cowell was still grappling with the death of his father, his mother Julie Cowell also died in 2015, according to People. While his parents are no longer with him, Simon often asks them for guidance. "I still talk to [them] in my mind now if I am having a difficult decision or if I am struggling with something," he told the Daily Mail. "I have a mental conversation with both of them. And I absolutely know what the answer is — it is the weirdest thing."

Following the death of his parents, there was a point in Simon's life where he "genuinely felt" that he'd "never feel that kind of love for anyone ever again," as he revealed during an interview with Kelly Clarkson in 2021, per Metro UK. Fortunately, that all changed when he saw the ultrasound of his son for the first time and was immediately "besotted." "Now I just cannot imagine my life without him," Simon continued. "He's the most amazing thing that ever happened to me. I adore him."

Eric Cowell could very well take over the "Got Talent" franchise one day

Fans of Simon Cowell's reality shows — including "The X Factor" and "America's Got Talent" — caught glimpses of Eric Cowell as a toddler as he visited his dad on set. As seen on YouTube, one of the most memorable moments was his appearance on "Britain's Got Talent" in 2017. When asked what his Dad's job was, the adorable youngster replied, "I'm daddy's job now." Eric also had a blast hitting the red buzzer over and over, as much as Simon tried to stop him.

At this point, it wouldn't be surprising if Eric took over the franchise from Simon in the future. "He comes down to the auditions and really loves the acts," Cowell told People magazine in 2016 (via the Express). Eric's reactions often sway Cowell one way or the other when it comes to certain acts. "I can see when he's bored and when he's up dancing," the star said. The TV personality echoed these sentiments on the British chat show "Lorraine" in 2019 (via Hello!), adding that he'd love for Eric to follow in his footsteps. "I look at things through his eyes now, I want to spend more time with him," Simon said. "I'm lucky because he likes ["Got Talent"], so he comes down to the shows with me because I'm sort of training him up... I'd love him to take over."

Simon Cowell says he'll support his son if he decides to leave school early

While Simon Cowell may eventually hand the reins over to Eric Cowell, he's still got to get through school. But Simon has also said on multiple occasions that if his son ever wants to leave school early, he's got his support. "Everyone has different views on this and I have been criticized for saying this in the past," Simon told BBC Radio 2 (via the Independent), "but I feel really bad for people who are like myself who were told if you don't achieve this by [a certain age] your life is going to be a failure."

Simon left school when he was 16 after realizing he "wasn't particularly academic" and that he "found the whole process tedious, boring, [and] monotonous." He attended college for a year before getting a job at EMI courtesy of his father, who was an executive there. Simon went on to say he wants the same for Eric, so he can avoid the pressure of overachievement. "I would never put Eric under that pressure," he concluded.

Simon and Eric Cowell are set to publish a children's book series in 2022

In the meantime, Simon Cowell is spending as much time as he possibly can with his son Eric Cowell. This includes creating a children's book series together. Per the Evening Standard, Simon signed a seven-book deal with Hachette Children's Group to publish a series centered around "individuality and positivity" in 2020. Titled "Wishfits," the series was inspired by Simon and Eric's creative animal inventions. "Every evening the two of us would think of the most unlikely animal we would like as a pet," Cowell told the Evening Standard. "We would come up with some very strange animals and the naming of the animal was Eric's favorite thing." 

Creating the books made Simon realize just how important it is "to encourage kids' creativity and imagination" because children often "have better ideas than most adults." Though it was initially slated for release in 2021, the Mirror reported that the series now has a release date of 2022. Once the books are finally published, sales will help to benefit the nonprofit companies Shooting Star Children's Hospice and Together For Short Lives, according to the Evening Standard.