SIMON Cowell yesterday admitted spending years living “like a vampire” — but is now booting toxic forces from his life.
The X Factor boss said he would not go to sleep until 8am as his stress spiralled out of control.
Simon added: “Suddenly you say, ‘I can’t live like this any more’.”
The revelation comes in an interview in which he tells for the first time:
- How he finally ousted shamed businessman Sir Philip Green from his firm Syco — adding: “I would have regretted it if I hadn’t”.
- Why he has walked away from his most successful act Little Mix after an explosive bust-up.
Simon also said he no longer cares about TV ratings because his perspective on life has changed — but insisted he still loves working on The X Factor.
And he told of his determination that his four-year-old son Eric will inherit his entire business.
The departures of Green and Little Mix are part of what Simon — who has son Eric with partner Lauren Silverman — describes as a “wake-up call for me”, especially when it comes to his health.
A fall last October prompted real concern for his wellbeing, although he now jokes: “I have a stairlift now.”
But in all seriousness, Cowell concedes a lifestyle where he would work until 8am and then sleep until 3pm, coupled with stress, was killing him.
He admits: “I was like a vampire. For years I would not go to bed until eight in the morning.
“It was a wake-up call. I think stress, if you want my honest opinion, is the biggest killer of all.
“I’ve stopped all the crazy late-night phone calls and the late-night meetings. That was the problem.
“Suddenly you go, ‘I can’t live like this any more’. You don’t want your son walking in when you’re always asleep in the afternoon. I mean, that’s not great.
“Going back to Eric, I have laughed more this year than I have in years and I think it’s one of the best medicines in the world.”
In fact, Cowell wants to have fun during our interview and even laughs about the constant talk of record low ratings for this series of The X Factor.
He smiles and then says: “My perspective on life is slightly different than it used to be. I used to be really competitive, read the ratings and have white knuckles. Now I find it funny.
“At the end of the day I always go back to Eric, who will hopefully one day be running these shows — one day, please God.
But our ratings with young people are up and everyone wants Robbie Williams, Ayda Field and Louis Tomlinson to come back.”
And Simon says he has no regrets about the massive changes he has made to both his business and his life.
He added: “This is the best I’ve felt in years because I’m going into the New Year now without any weight on my shoulders anymore.
"It’s like I’ve dealt with everything I’ve had to deal with.
“You can’t change the past because you don’t know who people are but once you do you get them out your life."