After enjoying a booze and cigarette-fuelled break, the king of US reality shows saw his life flash before him as he suffered a heart attack. It was a wake-up call he decided to heed. The one thing worrying him these days is seeing his pal still working himself to the bone. Or risk suffering the same fate as him. I have known him for many years but I had a heart attack while I was editing the second series of American Idol.
It made me realise how vulnerable I am. But I do hope Simon slows down and takes it a bit easier. Simon Cowell and Nigel Lythgoe Image: Getty Then he adds as a jokey sting in the tail: Nigel, who first found fame as a TV dancer, became a household name in as a ruthless judge on talent show Popstars before joining forces with Cowell on Pop Idol in Nigel hired his pal as a judge for the US version, American Idol.
Then there were rumours of a fallout after Simon launched The X Factor. For years they traded light-hearted barbs, but finally put their differences aside two years ago. And although the US X Factor was cancelled after three seasons, he is stilll confident his pal can succeed.
Everyone was nice about everyone. They had not had that honesty before. He always has done — small dogs, they melt him. Baby Eric has done the same to him. If you love animals then chances are you love children and that goes for Simon.
After watching her perform in when she was 24 he quipped: I have worked out that I have auditioned over half a million people now. But Nigel is the man who defined reality talent shows, particularly on the other side of the Atlantic. Born the son of a dock worker in Wirral, Merseyside, he fell in love with dancing — particularly tap dancing — when he was He also had his own troupe, the Nigel Lythgoe Dancers.
Nigel and Bonnie at their wedding in l After that heart attack in January prompted his major lifestyle change, his Nasty Nigel persona began to soften too. He spends much of his time working with disadvantaged children across the USA, using his original passion for dancing to keep them out of trouble.
Nigel has been linked with Priscilla Presley Image: It steers them in a different direction, which is lovely to see. It brings tears to my eyes. Since his divorce from Bonnie, his wife of 34 years, he has been linked to both Priscilla Presley, 69, and Raquel Welch, Nigel has nothing but admiration for Cat Deeley Image: Wireimage He is so proud of the many ties between LA and the UK that nine years ago he launched an annual event called Brit Week to celebrates the creative and innovative links between the two places.
It recognises success in areas such as music, science, and business. The Voice judge Will. Am was honoured for his work with his charity I.