After all the revelations, will Simon have his say
10:21 GMT, 20 April 2012
Following a week of uncomfortable revelations caused by the release of a book, you might think the last thing Simon Cowell would be thinking about is writing another one.
But that’s exactly what he’s doing, in a plan to help rehabilitate his somewhat damaged reputation following Tom Bower’s biography Sweet Revenge, which the public gets its first chance to buy today.
One of his closest friends tells me: ‘Simon’s realised co-operating with this book has been a disappointing mistake.
'For the past year, we had been urging him to release his own book instead — 100 per cent authorised — to show what he’s really like.’
Disappointed: ITV bosses hoped Dannii Minogue would consider returning to The X Factor to replace the unpopular Destiny's Child star Kelly Rowland
Simon’s loyal inner circle is urging him to rush the project so it can be released this year.
Another friend I’ve spoken to, who’s not on his payroll, said their advice to Simon was to take legal measures to stop the publication of Mr Bower’s book.
‘The fact is, if Simon hadn’t co-operated there is no way a lot of this material could have found its way into the book, because it’s simply too personal.
'His own book wouldn’t have had to focus on all his issues with women,’ the friend explains.
For example, Dannii Minogue would have supported any bid to keep details of their secret relationship private.
She made no reference to the unlikely love story in her own autobiography, released in 2010.
Dannii would have also considered making a return to The X Factor this year to replace the unpopular Destiny’s Child star Kelly Rowland.
ITV bosses are disappointed that has now been made almost impossible, because of Cowell’s revelations of a sexual relationship between the pair.
‘Our message to him was: “Get your lawyers involved and threaten to sue.”
'I think he realises he needs to start listening to our advice. He’s embarrassed about what has happened because he realises it was avoidable,’ Simon’s friend added.
The uncomfortable battle between Cowell and ITV over the future of The X Factor has been laid bare by Tom Bower’s book.
was the first to reveal that Cowell wanted to sack Take That star Gary
Barlow from the talent show’s judging panel in this column last
An affair between Simon Cowell and Dannii Minogue has been revealed in a new book entitled The Intimate Life Of Simon Cowell written by former BBC journalist Tom Bower
But ITV director of television Peter Fincham immediately pushed back on Simon’s plan, marking an awkward new phase in the relationship between ITV and its most important star.
My ITV source explains: ‘Simon is an incredible talent and a brilliant producer.
'But we pay him to make these shows and have to be able to have the final say.
'That’s never how it worked in the past. When it comes down to it, Gary was the best option given Simon was unable to be on the panel.
'There is no one else of his calibre who could do the job.’
Cowell wanted to oversee a more significant shake-up this year, axeing Kelly Rowland and replacing presenter Dermot O’Leary with upcoming Xtra Factor hosting duo Olly Murs and Caroline Flack. But he realised he was fighting a losing battle.
A source close to Cowell says: ‘Like last year, he will be in LA when The X Factor is on air, so he understands that ITV has to be happy with the line-up.
'But, remember, this is still his show and he will be heavily involved.
‘He did have certain issues with Gary as a judge, but believes these will improve in the next series.’
1960's glamour: Christina Hendricks in Mad Men
The brilliant fifth series of Mad Men may not be receiving as many viewers as main rival Game Of Thrones, but Christina Hendricks, one of its biggest stars, is being tipped for awards success after getting critical praise for her portrayal of new mum Joan Holloway.
My U.S. source explains: ‘Christina has been sensational this series and is the hot tip to win the Emmy for best actress.’
As a result, January Jones, whose role as Betty Draper has been decreased because of her real-life pregnancy, will be entered as a supporting actress at this year’s awards.
Downton Abbey’s producers took the rare step this week of issuing a statement insisting Dame Maggie Smith is not being written out of the show.
I’m told the move was made because she has become distressed after being portrayed as ‘money-grabbing’.
The 77-year-old dame has been at the forefront of efforts by the cast to be financially rewarded after Downton’s huge success, both for ITV and internationally. In the U.S., it has achieved record ratings for the PBS channel.
But a Downton source reveals: ‘It’s been very unfair on Maggie. She is by no means out on her own on this one.
'All the cast became part of Downton because they adore Julian Fellowes and loved his script.
‘Now that it’s become a major financial success all they want is a fair pay rise. That’s completely reasonable.’
The relationship between the BBC and Universal Music on The Voice has already raised serious questions.
Now, as the show prepares to broadcast its first live sing-off a week tomorrow, I’m told the record giant will have control over the careers of all eight finalists.
Judge Jesse J on the BBC reality TV show The Voice
While the winner gets a guaranteed contract, the seven runners-up have been forced to sign contracts that give Universal the option to sign them as well.
The Beeb has already been criticised for the fact three of the four coaches — Sir Tom Jones, Jessie J (left) and Will.i.am — are signed to Universal.
But Universal tells me: ‘We are partners with the BBC in this. That’s our deal and all our focus will be on the eventual winnner.’