EXTRACT: A cathartic moment fired Simon Cowell's ambition
SIMON Cowell is known internationally for his role as a talent judge on TV shows such as Pop Idol, The X Factor, Britain's Got Talent and American Idol. In this extract from the biography Sweet Revenge: The Intimate Life of Simon Cowell, author Tom Bower describes the moment that fired the star's ambition:
"Always be polite and charming to people," Julie [Cowell's mother] urged on his first day [as a runner in a music company] in 1976. "Manners maketh the man. They cost nothing. Courtesy is the hallmark of the civilised."
Delivering the post to offices occupied by energetic young men and women pursuing ambitions denied to himself was humiliating. There was one memorable moment: after entering the building, a youth his own age made a derogatory comment about the "post boy pushing the trolley".
The glib remark highlighted [Cowell's] failure. His epiphany was realising the consequence of his indiscipline.
He silently pledged, "Right, I'll show you." In that cathartic moment he finally shed all traces of obnoxious behaviour and became ambitious overnight. He changed his appearance and manner to assimilate the culture at EMI. He started to address people as 'Darling', began wearing V-neck T-shirts cut to show more skin and had his long hair permed.
- 'Sweet Revenge' is published by Faber and Faber and is available from Exclusive Books for R199