|Simon Cowell and Louis Walsh|
British talent show impresario Simon Cowell has certainly made his mark on this side of the Atlantic with American Idol -- but not so much his follow up The X-Factor, which debuted here to so-so ratings last year.
Now he’s got a new problem on his hands, a just published warts and all unauthorized biography that portrays him as a self-obsessed, eccentric, plastic surgery loving lothario who can’t get his act together when it comes to opposite sex.
Cowell has at least one defender out there, though – Louis Walsh, the Irish boyband manager and judge on the British X Factor who has been both a friend and foe of Cowell’s for years.
Walsh, 59, quite the entrepreneur in his own right given that he founded two of the biggest boybands in Europe, Westlife and Boyzone, says Simon may have his faults, but overall he’s one of the good guys.
"Simon loves life, fun, cars, girls and he works hard," Walsh told the Sunday World in Dublin. "He is self-made and a worldwide success. And yes he is arrogant, ambitious and enjoys life.
"I can only say good things about him. I've known him for 14 years and he has made so many people's careers and made them millionaires. He gave me a break and changed my life. I wouldn't be where I am without him.”
The two famously fell out a few years back when Cowell temporarily fired Walsh from The X Factor, but the spat didn’t last long and Walsh was back on the air, where he remains to this day. The X Factor in the U.K. doesn’t quite have the ratings muscle that it displayed in its heyday a couple of years ago, but Walsh has remained steadfast, like Randy Jackson after all the American Idol upheaval.
"I know the real Simon, he's fun, he's hard working, and he has never done anything wrong on anybody,” Walsh added.
"He is as vain as hell, but he's upfront about it. He looks after himself, but he tells you everything he does, that's the thing about him. I've been in his house and he's just fun. He's really good to his mother and he loves animals."