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Showbiz talent manager Jonathan Shalit has known Simon Cowell for many years. In this special two-part programme, Jonathan chats to the man who changed the face of showbusiness.

The public face of Simon Cowell has been a fixture in our living rooms for almost the entire 21st century. As a starmaker and record company mogul, his influence stretches back further still. But for all his fame and wealth, Cowell remains a private, unostentatious man, unpretentious in his tastes and loyal to his friends.

One such confidant is Professor Jonathan Shalit OBE, and in this two-part profile, the entertainment entrepreneur takes Radio 2 listeners behind the velvet rope to reveal the Simon Cowell he knows. The programmes are based on an extensive and informal conversation in Cowell's west London home, where he reveals never-before-heard detail of his fascinating life and times.

Across the two programmes, the close friends discuss Cowell's family background, his years of teenage rebellion, early setbacks and ultimate triumphs. He talks about the artists and songs that inspired him, the stars he helped to create and who helped him to his greatest successes, how family life has changed him and how he feels about being perhaps the greatest music svengali of his generation.

In Part 1, we'll find out what his house is like, what he has on the walls and why home feels very different since he has become a father. He spontaneously fields surprise questions from some of his famous friends, and there's delightful detail about the contents of his wardrobe; the time he knocked himself unconscious; what his son Eric thinks of what he does for a living; why he would rather host a party than be a guest at one; and why, if he was still with us, Cowell's idol Frank Sinatra wouldn't be on Snapchat.

57 minutes

Last on

Wed 2 Nov 2016 22:00

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Music Played

  • Frankie Valli

    Can't Take My Eyes Off You

    • Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons - Ve.
    • Polygram Tv.
    • 19.
  • Frank Sinatra

    My Way

    • Frank Sinatra - The Reprise Years.
    • Reprise.
  • Bianca Ryan

    And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going

  • Perry Como

    It's Impossible

    • Million Sellers Vol.15 - The Seventie.
    • Disky.
  • The Beatles

    She Loves You

    • The Beatles - 1.
    • Apple.
    • 003.
  • Mud

    Tiger Feet

    • The Greatest Hits Of 1974 (Various).
    • Premier.
  • Bobby Goldsboro

    Summer (The First Time)

    • The Gold Album (Various Artists).
    • The Hit Label Ltd.
  • The Stranglers

    (Get A) Grip (On Yourself)

  • The Sugarhill Gang

    Rapper's Delight

    • Global Television.
  • T. Rex

    Children of the Revolution

    • Tanx + Zinc Alloy.
    • Edsel.
    • 006.
  • Little Mix

    Shout Out To My Ex

    • (CD Single).
    • SYCO.
  • Chris Spedding

    Motor Biking

    • Greatest Hits Of The 70's (Various).
    • Disky.
  • 10cc

    Art For Art's Sake

    • The Very Best Of 10cc.
    • Mercury.
  • The Saint Orchestra

    Return of the Saint Theme Tune

  • Noël Coward

    I Went To A Marvelous Party

  • One Direction

    What Makes You Beautiful

    • (CD Single).
    • Syco Music.
  • One Direction

    Little Things

    • Take Me Home.
    • Sony.
  • Leona Lewis

    Bleeding Love

    • (CD Single).
    • Sony BMG.