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Simon Cowell would encourage his son to leave school at 16

Gemma Strong

Simon Cowell won't be standing in his son's way if he wants to leave school at 16. The X Factor boss has said he would actively encourage Eric to quit higher education if he wasn't happy, and find employment instead.

"I'd say to Eric leave at 16 if you want to work – 100 per cent I would encourage him," the dad-of-one said. "I don't understand why you want to torture someone to be somewhere they don't want to be."

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Simon Cowell and Lauren Silverman are parents to two-year-old Eric

Speaking to Professor Jonathan Shalit for a BBC Radio 2 show, the 57-year-old admitted that he had found school boring as a child. "I wasn't particularly academic – I found the whole process tedious, monotonous, too many rules, and I made my mind up then – when I'm 16, I am out," he said.

Meanwhile, Simon's X Factor co-judge, Nicole Scherzinger, has said that little Eric, two, is already following in his father's footsteps. "I think he just cloned himself," she said, during a recent appearance on The Jonathan Ross Show. "He is just like Simon, he never listens to me.

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Nicole Scherzinger has said Eric is Simon's mini-me

"I'll say, 'Eric, give me a hug', and he walks away. I'll say, 'Do you want a cookie? Can I have a bite of your orange?' and he just ignores me. He goes to his dad all the time, he loves his dad!"

The singer also talked about how much she loves appearing on this year's panel, alongside Simon, Sharon Osbourne and Louis Walsh. "Simon is back, and it's cool, and he's in a really good headspace," she said.

"This is the first time - it feels like we've known each other all four of us and we have - but this is the first time we have actually been all four of us together."

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