Video - Simon Cowell breaks down in tears on X Factor

Cowell still recovering from the loss of his mother
Cowell still recovering from the loss of his mother

X Factor judge Simon Cowell broke down in tears after a contestant turned in a highly emotional performance on Sunday night's show.

Cowell - who was hit by the death of his mother earlier this year - appeared visibly affected by 21-year-old Josh Daniel's emotional rendition of Jealous by Labrinth, which also moved fellow judge Cheryl Fernandez-Versini to tears.

Cowell bit his lip and appeared to wipe away a tear during Daniel's performance which got a standing ovation and three yeses from the judging panel - Ora was absent due to a schedule clash.

The X Factor auditions at Event City in Manchester were postponed after the death of Cowell's mother Julie Brett, 89, on Sunday July 5. Friends said he was "completely heartbroken".

Explaining his choice of song at the Manchester audition, the car mechanic Daniel from Durham said: "I lost my best friend a couple of years ago and I interpret the lyrics in a completely different way."

Cowell left comments on Daniel's heartrending audition to fellow judges Fernandez-Versini and Nick Grimshaw. "That really got me right in the heart," the BBC Radio 1 DJ said.

Fernandez-Versini added: "That was the most captivated I've been in all the auditions so far," before she asked to give Daniel a hug. As the 32-year-old headed to the stage, she gently placed a hand of support on Cowell.

The head judge gave Daniel a wink before leaving the panel. A concerned Fernandez-Versini said "leave him" as he walked off alone.