Britain”s Got Talent judge Simon Cowell showed his softer side when ! caught up with him to chat about his work with Surrey-based charity Shooting Star Chase. “If you want a perspective wake-up call -– and I tell this to all my friends – just go down there,” he tells !. “It”ll change your life. It changed mine.”
Shooting Star Chase supports children with life-limiting conditions and the X Factor USA judge has been a devoted supporter for nine years drafting in celebrity support from the likes of JLS, Phillip Schofield and Sarah, Duchess of York.
“Even if I didn”t have what I have materially, I haven”t got a sick child. I feel so much for the parents and what they go through,” he added.
Simon pays regular secret visits to the charity and has built a rapport with many of the youngsters. One of the those he”s become closest to is 18-year-old Sian Tolfree who suffers from a rare heart and lung disease condition known as Di George syndrome.
Simon has treated Sian and her family to trips to Disney and to the X Factor set.
“Simon has been my friend for years and he”s lovely,” Sian told !. “I text him whenever I”m going into hospital and he always texts me back straight away, no matter how busy he is.”
Simon recently hosted a fundraising event for the charity at the Dorchester hotel in London, and was joined by stars including Peter Andre, Jahmene Douglas and JLS.
Peter, who recently lost his brother Michael to cancer, said, “I know we”ve been through it, but you look around at children going through similar things and as a dad I think “Now that”s tough.””
Sarah, Duchess of York spent time cuddling three year old leukaemia patient Alfie. “I love what Shooting Star does for people,” she said. “I”d do anything for children like Alfie to have a chance of a moment of respite from their pain.”
For the full interview with Simon, pick up issue 1270 of ! magazine, out now.