Simon Cowell says he and Lauren Silverman are ‘closer than ever’ in exclusive OK! interview

Arriving at the spectacular Together For Short Lives Ball, Simon Cowell and Lauren Silverman looked the picture of happiness as they posed together on the red carpet.

The couple are patrons of the charity – which provides support for families caring for seriously ill children with life limiting illnesses – and helped to organise the OK! sponsored event, which saw celeb pals, such as Alesha Dixon and Kelly Hoppen, raise over £380,000 in one night.

And for Simon, the support of his friends and colleagues means the world to him. “You really see who your true friends are when they show up for something like this,” he tells us when we catch up with him the morning after. “I’ve learnt a lot over the years about who I can rely on.”

Simon Cowell has opened up on his romance with girlfriend Lauren Silverman
Simon Cowell has opened up on his romance with girlfriend Lauren Silverman

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The evening proved to be a resounding success, but the nature of the charity meant there were plenty of emotional moments. One such moment came after Adam, a young father whose family was supported by Together For Short Lives during his daughter Emily’s terminal illness, spoke movingly about her death and the impact the charity had on her life.

Simon came to speak after, but, clearly overcome with emotion, the Britain’s Got Talent judge choked up, and asked Adam to rejoin him on stage for support.

Simon and Lauren looked love up at the Together for Short Lives ball
Simon and Lauren looked love up at the Together for Short Lives ball

When we speak to Simon, 62, for our exclusive chat, he explains his reaction, which he simply puts down to the fact he is a father himself. “I just kept thinking, ‘What if it was Eric?’” he tells us, getting emotional at the thought.

It’s clear when talking to Simon that his seven-year-old son is everything to him. His only child with partner Lauren – who also has beloved teenager, Adam, from her previous relationship – Eric is the apple of Simon’s eye. When he talks about him he lights up and on several occasions refers to the little lad as his best friend. He’s also still head over heels for 44-year-old Lauren, calling her “amazing” and telling us he always “really, really enjoys her company”

Here, Simon opens up about family life, tells us why Eric’s an important part of date nights with Lauren, and the future of his many, many TV projects…

Simon, the ball was a huge success! Congratulations on raising over £380,000…

Thank you, it was amazing. And of course, thank you to you guys at OK!, your support meant the world. Every penny counts and
for you to step up for us, it was just everything.

It was our pleasure. It’s an incredible cause and we could see on the night just how moved you were…

I was emotional. The event was uplifting and sad all at the same time. I gave a speech after a young man called Adam had spoken so movingly about losing his daughter Emily, but what could I possibly have said to follow that? I’m finding it increasingly difficult now I have a son to actually say anything on those evenings now. I wanted to say something important, but I kept thinking, “What if it was Eric?” And of course it did choke me up. Everything Adam said resonated with me. I can’t even bear to think about what he’s been through.

Simon got choked up when giving a speech on the night, as bereaved dad Adam looked on
Simon got choked up when giving a speech on the night, as bereaved dad Adam looked on

Do you think being a father has really changed you in that respect?

Working with the hospices, you realise what amazing work goes on there. Bear in mind, the children there have just weeks to live, and yet the places are so happy and filled with joy. It’s one thing to do this event once a year and raise money, but if we can spread the message and have people come and visit these places, you’ll see why it’s so important that we support them.

The auction was a high point of the evening, in which you won a kids’ kickaround with England and Chelsea footballer Mason Mount. What made you bid on that?

I’ve decided Eric’s going to be a Chelsea fan now [laughs]! I met Mason on a Zoom call just after the Euros and honestly, he’s one of the nicest guys I’ve ever spoken to. And I know this charity means a lot to him too, so the fact he’s taken the time to work with us means a lot to me. This was bought for Eric, and it’s something he and his friends will remember for the rest of their lives.

And how is little Eric?

He’s doing great. Year on year it just keeps getting better. Just seeing how his brain changes, it’s quite amazing. He’s a sweet little boy but he’s a lot like me when I was young. I could be really naughty and so can he! I have to say to him, “Eric, Daddy has done exactly the same thing, you can’t fool me.” He’s my best friend, I adore him.

Simon was thrilled so many pals turned up in support of the ball
Simon was thrilled so many pals turned up in support of the ball

Stars such as Alesha Dixon and Kelly Hoppen shared a table with Lauren and Simon
Stars such as Alesha Dixon and Kelly Hoppen shared a table with Lauren and Simon

Can you share an example of his naughtiness with us?

He’s like any seven-year-old. He never wants to go to bed, he wants to stay up and watch another movie, he doesn’t want to eat when he’s told – all the tricks I used to pull! It’s like watching myself. It’s like reliving my childhood which is probably why I love it so much.

Give us an insight into daily life with Eric? Do you do the school runs?

Oh, absolutely! More and more when I get time, certainly in the afternoons, I love doing the school pick-ups. He’s now starting to learn how to play football and I really like taking him to training. That’s why he’ll get such a buzz out of meeting Mason – football is the one sport he really does love. Honestly, being a parent is a leveller. I still love my work and everything I do, but always top of the priority list is Eric.

And Lauren, how’s she?

Yeah, she’s doing great. Things like the ball bring us closer together. She plays an active role in organising it and getting people there. She’s amazing, she’s not just turning up with me on the night, she goes to the hospices, she meets the parents and she’s just amazing with them.

You looked so happy on the red carpet. Is the romance still alive between the two of you?

[Laughs] I guess so! Covid-19 was the real test. Like everyone, we were in lockdown for a long time and that’s when you realise whether or not you actually enjoy each other’s company or not. And we really, really did. So to answer your question… yes, the romance is still alive!

Do you manage to do date nights?

It’s tricky because Eric wants to come for dinner with us and I love having Eric there! We kid about it – Lauren says, “Can we ever go out without Eric?!” And I say “no!” I just love having him with me. But we do occasionally make it out alone.

Simon admits he doesn't like date nights without their seven year old son Eric
Simon admits he doesn’t like date nights without their seven year old son Eric

There is something lovely about sharing that quality time between the three of you, though…

Exactly, it is great. And what’s fantastic with Eric is that when he does come out with us, he’s not on a phone or an iPad, he’s very present. We’re having drawing competitions, or we’re telling funny ghost stories. He’s great to be around and I love his company. He’s so competitive – if we’re having a drawing competition or something, it’s the most important thing in the world to him, which cracks me up. We have a very similar sense of humour. We get each other. He’s the best.

Let’s talk about your shows. Britain’s Got Talent’s back next year, what can we expect?

There’s a few things we’re going to put in, ideas which I think are brilliant. It was a difficult decision to pull the show last year, but it was impossible to do it and keep everyone safe. But when it comes back, people will realise how much they’ve missed it. Plus, we’ve had a whole year to come up with new ideas. We’re more energised, more refreshed and probably appreciate being on the show more. Having that year off, weirdly, it’s going to turn out to be a good thing. I’m excited about doing it again.

You stepped back from judging new show Walk The Line to stay behind the camera. What’s the truth behind that decision?

When I announced that, there was so much speculation, like “What’s going on with Simon? There must be something wrong! Is he never going to do these shows again?” But that’s not the case. There are times where, for whatever reason, you have to make the decision to either stay behind the camera or be on it. And it was one of those things. It’s not like I’m retiring, as people thought. I’m still doing four shows next year between here and America.

What about the future of The X Factor? Will it ever come back?

This year was the first year since we took it off the air, where I realised how much I’d really, really missed it. And I think the public do as well. It was, and is, a brilliant show. There’s no question it will return. I think we did the right thing in resting it, as it was a huge show to produce and I think people were tired. Now when it comes back it will hopefully be a big event.

Simon is excited for the X Factor to make a comeback, promising us it will return
Simon is excited for the X Factor to make a comeback, promising us it will return

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Finally, talk us through your plans for Christmas?

I’ll be going to Barbados and I’ll go on a jet ski. You’ll all see the photos and that’s about it.

Don’t you miss a traditional British Christmas in the freezing cold?

I haven’t been in the UK at Christmas for years. Wherever we are we still have a tree and keep it festive, we just do it in Barbados where the weather’s better. We’ll still watch all the best Christmas movies. My favourite is and always will be It’s A Wonderful Life.

Has Eric seen it?

I think it’ll be another year or two before he really gets it. I tried last year but it didn’t work – we’re still on Home Alone mainly, but we’ll get there!

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