Si: Here comes the son

He hints at role for Eric in big X fi­nale

Irish Sunday Mirror - - NEWS - BY HALINA WATTS Show­biz Editor and AMY SHARPE [email protected]­

THE X Fac­tor fi­nal­ists will face com­pe­ti­tion for cen­tre stage tonight from Si­mon Cow­ell’s four-year-old son Eric.

He will have a star­ring role in the live fi­nal, and his dot­ing dad has even hinted that his boy could join the panel.

Si­mon, 59, is keep­ing the de­tails un­der wraps, but said: “Eric is go­ing to more in­volved than ever, he is about to step into my shoes big time.

“You’ll see what we do. A few people have gone, ‘You are ac­tu­ally out of your mind’. Prob­a­bly – but it’s fun. And that’s what I like do­ing.”

The for­mer “Mr Nasty” ad­mit­ted he has soft­ened due to his mini-me son, whose hair and out­fits of­ten match his own.

He said: “Eric finds me funny and I find him funny. I’ve laughed more this year than I have done in years. It’s chilled me out. We watch movies and then we have th­ese crazy con­ver­sa­tions.

“He re­minds me of what I used to be like when I was his age.”

The Syco boss reck­ons the judges, Rob­bie Wil­liams and his wife Ayda Field, and Louis Tom­lin­son, will all be back next year. He said: “I’ve spo­ken to Rob­bie who, with Ayda, def­i­nitely wants to come back, I hope Louis does too. They have all had a great time.

“I’ve known Rob­bie a long time and it’s no se­cret we’ve been try­ing to get him to do the show for years. He says it’s the best job he has ever had be­cause it is fun.”

Ab­sent from the line-up is for­mer judge Sharon Os­bourne, 66, who was axed in Septem­ber af­ter un­leash­ing a foul­mouthed rant about Si­mon in an in­ter­view.

He in­sisted they had patched things up, and said he had told her in a phone call: “You are very wel­come to come back.”

He said for­mer judge Cheryl, 35, could han­dle the flack she re­ceived for her per­for­mance on the show, when she was ac­cused of mim­ing.

He said: “Cheryl is tough... you are go­ing to get good times and then you are go­ing to get stick. That’s the way it is.”

View­ing fig­ures for the live X Fac­tor shows are at a 14-year low, but Si­mon praised the “great team” work­ing on the show.

He will soon be un­wind­ing with part­ner Lau­ren Sil­ver­man, 41, and Eric on their an­nual Christ­mas jaunt to Bar­ba­dos. He said: “You’ll see me on a jet ski. This hol­i­day is al­ways a great one.”

ERIC AND EARN Si­mon is train­ing his son to take over his em­pire

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