Simon Cowell touched by girlfriend Lauren Silverman’s heartfelt gesture to his late father

Britain’s Got Talent: Simon Cowell hands out golden buzzer

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Britain’s Got Talent judge Simon Cowell, 62, might have been known as Mr Nasty during his X-Factor reign, but he demonstrated his softer side when he spoke of how emotional Lauren Silverman’s gesture had made him.

Lauren felt quite passionately that [my son] should be named after my dad. I thought that was sweet

Simon Cowell

“Even though Lauren had never met my dad, she knew my relationship with him,” he revealed.

“[She] felt quite passionately that he should be named after my dad. I thought that was sweet,” he told The Mirror.

He also admitted that while the arrival of a new child turned the lives of some parents “upside down”, he was loving it.

Simon’s father, Eric Phillip Cowell, was a record label director, but he sadly died more than 20 years ago in 1999.

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He had been born in 1918 in London’s East End to a family of rope-makers.

After bucking the trend in his family and opting to become a chartered surveyor instead, Eric then sold off the business in his 60s.

He had also been heavily involved in the music industry and was responsible for Simon’s first step to fame.

Ultimately becoming the director of the record label EMI, it was Eric who arranged for his son to work at the company.

He became an A&R rep – and the rest is history.

Tragically, however, his beloved dad never lived to see the biggest heights of his career, as he died the day that Westlife made it to the top of the charts.

The Irish boyband had been under Simon’s wing at the time.

He has since described his father’s death as “the worst day of my life”.

“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 later explained to the Daily Mail.

“It was the ultimate irony. 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.”

Tragically, Simon’s father will never be able to meet the grandson who was named after him, either – but Simon sees him as an inspiration as he grapples with parenthood.

Fans were able to see little Eric make an unexpected Britain’s Got Talent appearance as a toddler, when he gleefully pressed the red buzzer over and over again.

When asked what his father’s profession was, the little boy announced proudly: “I’m daddy’s job now!”

It has also been revealed that the pair are making a seven-title children’s book series together for Hachette Children’s Group publishers, on the theme of “individuality and positivity”.

Britain’s Got Talent airs tonight on ITV at 6pm.

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