The days of talent show contestants quaking in their boots at the prospect of cutting comments from Simon Cowell may soon by over.
TV's Mr Nasty is reportedly set to create a new super company with his friend Topshop boss Sir Philip Green, which would leave him little time for intensive commitments of the kind involved in a show like X Factor.
According to the Mirror, the impresario wants fellow panellist Cheryl Cole to become the main face of the programme when his £20 million golden handcuffs deal with producers ITV ends in December.
Simon has also been hinting he could move away from judging American Idol – the US star search that is arguably the most popular TV show stateside with viewing figures of 30 million.
“I don’t want to get bored, and I don’t want the audience to get bored,” he explained recently.
It's thought the mogul will continue working on Britain's Got Talent, however.
His plans with Sir Philip involve building a huge "one-stop" entertainment company to create shows, manage stars and exploit rights to Simon's hit programmes. Though Monaco-based mogul Philip is worth £4 billion, this is his first venture into the celebrity and showbiz arena.
It may have been stimulated by his connection with Topshop designer Kate Moss, who regards him as a mentor and close friend. The supermodel jokingly refers to him as Uncle Phil and her friends credited him with persuading her to cut ties with former bad boy love Pete Doherty.
Whatever his motivation there's doubt the pair will make a formidable team. "Simon is very ambitious and is the creative force," said a source. "Sir Philip is the one who will bang the table and get the deals done."