27/03/2014 15:22 GMT | Updated 20/05/2015 06:12 BST

Simon Cowell Talks About Baby Eric: Fatherhood Is The Best Feeling In The World

We can't believe the change that's come over Simon Cowell since he became a dad.

Once famed for his stinging put-downs of the nation's deluded pub singers, Simon is all smiles these days, and it looks like we have baby Eric to thank.

Fatherhood is 'the best feeling in the world' according to the X Factor judge.

When asked in an interview whether Eric takes after his dad or mum Lauren Silverman, you'll never guess what Simon said. Yep, without a second of hesitation he answered 'dad.' Hopefully he doesn't mean little Eric looks anything like our mock-up.

The hirsute pop mogul also had plenty to say about this year's series of The X Factor. Cheryl Cole's return to the judging panel after her bitter departure in 2011 took everyone by surprise - so how did he do it?

Easy: "I charmed her." If you say so, Simon...

There was also welcome news for One Direction's legion of devoted bobby soxers. The bright-eyed fivesome will soon be appearing in a TV special, Cowell revealed with a cheeky grin.

The remarks came as Simon was being interviewed on the red carpet at the premiere of new musical I Can't Sing, a satirical parody of TV talent shows written by Harry Hill and starring Nigel Harman as Simon.

Fatherhood must be having a mellowing effect on Simon - despite the fact that the show mercilessly ribs his persona as an arrogant egomaniac, Simon seemed to take it in stride. "Very, very funny," was his verdict on the musical, which he helped produce.