I smiled when I heard that Simon Cowell had donated $50,000 to the Friends of the IDF charity. I was pleased but not surprised. I’ve thought for a long time that Cowell and Israel have a lot in common.
When I researched my biography of him, the similarities kept occurring to me. Like Israel, Cowell is: loved and hated; successful to an extent that enrages the envious; disproportionately written about; much discussed but little understood; big in America.
He is also a bit like an Israeli: painfully blunt but surprisingly sweet underneath it all. Everyone I interviewed for my book told me what a lovely man he is behind the scenes. X Factor finalist Niki Evans probably put it best, she told me: ‘He’s a hard man with a heart, that’s what he is.’
I can only imagine how excited my dear friend, the beautiful Bristolian broad Julie Burchill, was when she heard about Cowell’s donation. When Julie and I co-wrote a book about hypocrisy, we crowned Cowell our leading anti-hypocrite. During our semi-regular drinking sessions, some of which lasted as cripplingly long as 18 hours, our two most regular talking points were Israel and Simon Cowell. Both of us love both of them.
During one of these epic encounters, Julie predicted: ‘I believe that one day Simon Cowell will do something beautiful for Israel.’ You were right, Julie. But then you knew that already, didn’t you?