By LARA GOULD
Exit Factor: Simon Cowell tells Oprah of the moment he was kicked out of a US TV network after a failed American Idol pitch
He's the most powerful man in TV and poised to launch a £150 million version of X Factor in America to a predicted 30 million viewers.
But life wasn’t always so rosy for Simon Cowell, who has revealed he was once thrown out of a meeting with US television executives after pitching the format for Pop Idol, his first reality series.
The show, a precursor to X Factor, became an overnight hit when it aired on ITV in 2001.
So encouraged by its success, Cowell and his then-business partners Simon Fuller and Simon Jones flew to Los Angeles to sell the format.
But the 51-year-old mogul has confessed to Oprah Winfrey on her Master Class show, which will screen in America tonight, that he left the US with ‘my tail between my legs’.
Recalling one meeting with a senior executive from an unnamed network, Cowell said: ‘It was so bad that a minute into the pitch the guy said, “No.”
Embarrassed: Simon confessed to Oprah that he was left waiting outside the building after he forgot to hire a car
Wind up: Simon refused to be silenced and couldn't resist cracking a joke at the TV executive who shunned the American Idol pitch
To wind him up, I said, “So, it sounds like you’re interested?” He said “Get out” and we were thrown out of the network.’
But the humiliation didn’t end there – the group hadn’t booked a car to pick them up, so they were left red-faced sitting on the steps outside the building.
‘I turned to the other Simons and said, “The good news is, it will never get worse than this.” ’
Success: Judges Steven Tyler, Jennifer Lopez and Randy Jackson sit on the panel for season 10 of American Idol
Cowell, who became an international star when the Fox network bought Pop Idol and turned it into American Idol, used the interview to fuel speculation that he will quit the British X Factor to focus on the US show.
He has homes in London and Los Angeles and had planned to fly between the two cities twice a week when both series are on air in the autumn.
Swan song: Simon Cowell gave the interview as he prepares to quit American Idol amid speculation that he may launch The X Factor in the US
Moustache: Simon looked horrified when Oprah produced a photo of him in his 20s with long bushy hair, a moustache and wearing a short t-shirt
But it seems Cowell has now had a change of heart. He said: ‘I asked a successful guy, “What’s the best advice you can give me?” He said, “Simon, know when to leave the fair.”
‘I think that’s good advice – one year, I actually found myself thinking, “I’ve run out of insults, I don’t know how I’m going to tell people they suck.”
‘Something inside you says, “You know what, it’s time to go.”
‘I’ve enjoyed myself, I mean it’s not the most difficult job in the world, is it?’
source :dailymail [endtext]