Simon Cowell speaks about crying on TV during an audition following mother's death

Simon Cowell surprised viewers when he was seen wiping away tears during an X Factor audition. Now, the TV judge has opened up about his emotional reaction which came just after the death of his beloved mother. Julie was 89 when she passed away following a stroke in 2014.

Speaking on Loose Women, he said: "I mean it was quite near when it all happened and I think it was the last audition and I wasn't really expecting what happened."

Simon Cowell returned to work just days after his mother's death

Contestant Josh Daniels had performed Jealous by Labrinth which he dedicated to his best friend who died in a car crash, aged 18, two years ago in 2013. Josh had no idea that Simon was grieving, but realised that his heartfelt rendition had clearly moved the music mogul.

The 55-year-old appeared overwhelmed by the lyrics which deal with lost love, getting up abruptly at the end of the song and handing his microphone back without a word.

Simon went on: "Of course the lyric of the song and it was quite difficult because I thought, 'God this is going to be really hard to sit through this'. But then you've got to think of [the contestant] and it's his moment but yes it was very emotional."

He explained that the decision to go back to work two days after her death was because 89-year-old Julie loved X Factor. "She was a huge fan of the show, she loved the show which sort of made the decision, 'When do you go back to work on something like this?' because it's hard and it really was what I thought she would have said to me which was, 'No 100 per cent you've got to go back to work.'"

Part of the drama of X Factor is Simon's supposed reputation for withering comments. However, the truth is the music exec is a big softie, especially since the birth of his son Eric, whose mother is his partner Lauren Silverman. He constantly posting pictures of the little boy's cutest moments, such as playing drums and of the family on holiday.

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