• Monday, March 04, 2024
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Let’s hope baby Eric doesn’t turn Simon Cowell into a softie


A few days ago, an almost sacred hush fell over the land. The cattle started bowing their heads in reverence. Men who thought themselves wise began silently packing up their valuables and wandered off towards the horizon. For, lo, a new saviour was born. All hail Eric, son of Simon. Lead us, Eric.

Yes, the day has finally come. Our glorious leader Simon Cowell has sired his Kim Jong-un. After a pregnancy that seems to have been discussed in the press for upwards of a decade, Cowell and his girlfriend Lauren Silverman have finally become parents to an adorable baby boy. And, thanks to the magic of social media, we know exactly what sort of father Simon is going to be: a colossally oversharing one, mainly.

At the time of writing, Eric Cowell is but four days old. And, at the time of writing, Simon Cowell has posted four different photographs of him on Twitter. In one, Simon is holding him. In another, Simon is stroking his head. In the third, Simon is holding him again. And in the fourth, Simon has sort of left him alone next to a knitted elephant because he has popped out to be rude to a juggler on some talent show or whatever.

This is undoubtedly a worrying portent of things to come. By the time you read this, there’s a huge chance that Simon will have posted a picture of himself pulling a kooky “What are you gonna do?” expression as Eric piddles on him in the middle of a nappy change. Or a wacky shot of himself with his shirt open, attempting to breastfeed. Any minute now he’ll be on Mumsnet, gleefully sharing placenta recipes under the username DaddyWuvsU.

This is all allowed, of course – becoming a father is an undeniably life-changing event for him, and he’s right to be overjoyed – but it does make one a little nervous about the upcoming series of The X Factor. Cowell has returned to the UK in order, ostensibly, to save his beloved show from the axe. But, now that he knows the unconditional love that comes with fatherhood, his barbed putdowns may lose their bite. And Cowell without barbed putdowns is like a Kardashian without a camera pointed at it; he simply wouldn’t need to exist any more.

As such, I’m treating this series of Britain’s Got Talent as a reassessment period in my ongoing relationship with Brand Cowell. If a toothy six-year-old’s rendition of Eternal Flame even starts to look as if it’s going to make Simon cry – let alone make him whisper: “Have you ever smelled a baby’s head? I mean really smelled it?” to David Walliams – I’m out for ever.

Still, Eric can count himself lucky that he is being born into such a powerful dynasty. Right now, in fact, Simon is probably showing off his wealth to his new son. “One day, my boy, all this will be yours,” he whispers, as he proudly casts his arm around at the spoils of his many victories – the yachts, the jetski covered in cigarette ash, the round-the-clock access to Sinitta, total control over Louis Walsh’s every waking thought, Wagner. All of which can only make you wonder how little Eric will turn out.

Maybe his parents will indulge his creative urges and he will be just as successful as his father, as Duncan Jones managed after a lifetime of growing up as David Bowie’s son. Perhaps he will never fully escape his father’s shadow and become the Julian Lennon to Simon’s John. Or maybe Cowell will instil in him his canny business instincts and overwhelming love of wealth and power, and he will grow up to be oily and untrustworthy; a ruthless schemer with an annoyingly mid-Atlantic accent. Maybe he’ll grow up, in short, to be James Murdoch. Although this is unlikely. Surely nobody would ever willingly do that to their child.

Then again, perhaps Eric will rebel. Maybe he will react so furiously to having his childhood so well documented on Twitter that he’ll distance himself from his father’s successes. Perhaps he’ll even lash out against Cowell in the strongest possible manner, at the earliest possible opportunity. That’s right. Look out for Eric Cowell on Strictly Come Dancing in 2032. You heard it here first.

Culled from guardian.co.uk