Simon Cowell is a household name these days, but what about in the ’80s?
In 1987, Cowell made his first TV appearance, but it wasn’t as a judge or producer… it was as a “disgruntled” TV guest, in the words of Smooth Radio.
Cowell and his flatmate appeared on the show Right To Reply to offer their opinion on the series The Singing Detective. At the time, Cowell was just 28.
Wearing an ’80s t-shirt and showing off puffy hair, the Idol judge threw shade at the producers of The Singing Detective and criticized how they depicted sex in the series. “If you’re going to talk about sex, you might as well make it at least informative and interesting,” Cowell said.
He continued, “It was like listening to a lot of left week lunatics… when we showed a video to our friends, everyone agreed it was probably one of the most boring programs we’d ever seen in our lives. Instead of encouraging people to talk about sex, and safe sex which is an important thing, it probably encouraged people to fall asleep and turn it off.”
Not only does Cowell speak with the same intensity and conviction as he still does today, but eagle-eyed viewers may notice that he’s even twirling his pen around in his trademark way.
Clearly, some things never change.
YouTubers Respond to the Video
YouTubers have noted that there are many similarities between today’s version of Cowell and the one depicted in the clip.
One person commented on the video, “He came out of the womb unimpressed.”
Another added, “At least no one can say that his attitude changed with fame.”
And a third wrote, “He showed a strong personality from a young age. You GO, Simon!”
Cowell, if anything, has maintained his steadfast determination over the years. And this aligns with what those who know him closely have to say.
Speaking to Variety, Cecile Frot-Coutaz, former CEO of Fremantle Media, shared, “Simon is the opposite of complacent… He has ambition. He’s not afraid to push boundaries. He’s not afraid to fight for what he believes creatively, and he wants to lead the way. He’s always thinking, ‘How do I make it better? What’s next? What do we need to do on ‘Got Talent’ next year to stay ahead of the game?’ He never ever rests on his laurels. Ever.”
Cowell’s Career Since His First TV Appearance
Judging by how Cowell’s career progressed after this appearance, it’s safe to say that he left a mark with audiences, even at the ripe age of 28.
Around the time he appeared on Right To Reply, Cowell was working on producing a number of musical hits. After moving to another company in 1989, Cowell went on to find a job with BMG, working as an A&R consultant.
Not long after, he persuaded actors Robson Green and Jerome Flynn to work with him and record “Unchained Melody.” As many know, this song went on to soar to the top of the charts.
Since then, the 61-year-old has found work as a manager, record executive, and TV personality, and has judged shows from Pop Idol and The X Factor UK to America’s Got Talent and American Idol.