Simon Cowell: 25 Things You Don't Know About Me ('I Have a Phobia of Clowns')

Simon Cowell Credit: Dave J Hogan/Getty Images

Television producer and longtime reality competition staple Simon Cowell returns to the judges’ table for the new season of NBC’s America’s Got Talent, which premieres May 31 at 9 p.m. But first, the British critic shared 25 fun facts about himself with Us Weekly!

1. The first single I ever bought was “She Loves You” by The Beatles.

2. My ideal day is probably being on holiday: getting up late, jet-skiing, swimming, afternoon tea, a nap, a bath, go out for dinner, get drunk — and start all over again!

3. My worst habit is smoking cigarettes.

4. My other worst habit is repeating myself when I’m making a point.

5. I actually like British comfort food. It’s the same stuff I ate as a kid.

6. My favorite thing about London is the weather. It’s the best when it’s raining on a Sunday and you can watch a movie.

7. I have banned Dora the Explorer. I told [my 2-year-old son] Eric that Dora has left to go on a permanent holiday. Her voice is annoying! Now Peppa Pig is his favorite.

8. I love [my onetime America’s Got Talent cohost] Jerry Springer. I remember when a friend called me the first time we had it in England and said, “You have got to watch this guy on TV – you won’t believe it!”

9. I love my dogs [Yorkies Freddie, Squiddly and Diddly] so much. I take them on holidays, I let them sleep in the bed and sometimes one gets in the bath with me.

10. I love licorice.

11. If I could trade places with anyone for a day, it would be Frank Sinatra in the 1950s.

12. Eric has me wrapped around his little finger. I let him stay up late to watch cartoons.

13. My L.A. indulgence is In-N-Out burgers.

14. I’m addicted to House of Cards. I’ll confess: I get drunk when I watch it, to the point where I can’t remember what happened the next day.

15. I’m a secret-keeper. Even Paula Abdul was convinced I wasn’t coming to the American Idol finale!

16. I love taking baths.

17. At the moment I like to eat Cheerios for breakfast. But I freeze the milk so it’s literally ice cold.

18. I also love Corona Light beer freezing cold, with a slice of lime.

19. I’m going to write a children’s book! I have a couple of stories in my head, and my girlfriend, Lauren [Silverman], said, “You should write these down.”

20. There were loads of times when I thought the wrong person won on American Idol.

21. I have a phobia of clowns.

22. I plan to clone my dogs.

23. My pre-show ritual is breathing in oxygen through a bottle. I fall asleep sometimes because I get so bored in auditions, so I do oxygen to wake me up.

24. I hate shopping.

25. I once wanted to be frozen after I died, until I realized that they chop your head off when they freeze you!

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