Simon Cowell and adorable son Eric spend day off watching Jungle Book

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Cuddling up on the sofa with his toddler, Simon Cowell shows just how much of a softie he's become since Eric's birth in February 2014. The X Factor mogul shared two pictures of father and son watching the Jungle Book, telling followers: "Happiness is a day off work".

These moments of family life with his 21-month-old boy and partner Lauren Silverman are all the more precious because he lost his beloved mother Julie earlier this year.

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Surprisingly given their bond, Simon says that at first he thought the baby didn't like him. "He wasn't reacting to me and I thought maybe he hates me," he admitted during an interview on Good Morning Britain. And they said, 'No, take your time', because once he gets a bit older (everything will change)."

Simon continued: "And then suddenly one day they are talking, listening, responding , and now talking to him, communicating, whole different ball game, and they sort of become a bit like you."

Now, the duo enjoy bathtime together, playing with the family's dogs Diddly and Squiddly and listening to music, with Eric joining in on the drums. "He loves music, and when I say loves it, loves it!" Simon said. "Fortunately one of the first records I got on tape of him playing along to was a One Direction record, so he's got good taste."

Simon is so sold on fatherhood he has been advising One Direction protégé Louis Tomlinson who is expecting a baby with ex-girlfriend Briana Jungwirth.

The 56-year-old music boss said: "I just said enjoy it. If I had been his age and someone had said you're going to have a baby, I'm not sure how I would have coped with it but he did call me and I said when you've embraced it you'll be amazed how much you are going to love it and it will change your life for the better. And that's it."

Simon Cowell said his life has changed for the better since becoming a dad

His fatherly side also extends to contestants. In an exclusive interview with HELLO! 17-year-old X Factor sensation Louisa Johnson reveals that the mogul has taken her under his wing.

"I love Simon," Louisa confided. "I feel a bit like he's my dad – he talks to me and asks how I'm doing and if I need anything. He's lovely."

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