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Simon Cowell is softer judge

Simon Cowell is softer judge

Simon Cowell claims being a parent has made him more compassionate.

The 56-year-old music mogul was known for his tough stance as a judge on 'The X Factor' and 'American Idol', but since his two-year-old son Eric - who he has with girlfriend Lauren Silverman - was born, the British star admits he goes easier on hopefuls because he feels "different" now.

Simon - who has joined the judging panel of 'America's Got Talent' this season - said: "Lauren is great. And there's no question when you actually have a kid, it does make you feel different because you understand how you would feel if it was your son up there.

"I'm very conscious that the kids who audition for AGT want to be there, they're not being pushed into it, and that they're having a great day out, otherwise we wouldn't see them."

And Simon believes being on the talent show - which also features Heidi Klum, Mel B and Howie Mandel on the panel - shows the public he is more than just a "bad-tempered, miserable whatever".

He added to People magazine: "I think 'X Factor' and 'Idol' were edited so that I was always seen as this bad-tempered, miserable whatever - which of course I am at times, but I'm not like that the whole day!

"But on AGT there are so many feel-good moments that they show those more than me ripping people to pieces because they are rubbish."

Simon is devoted to his little boy and admits Eric can always get his own way with his dad, despite him recognising a lot of himself in the youngster.

He said: "He's exactly like me when I was younger, he's so cheeky, and he knows how to get me wrapped around his little finger.

"When it's time to go to bed, the bottom lip comes out and it's like, 'Just one more minute, just one more minute, I want to watch 'Toy Story'! I want to read a story!'

"He's very, very, very funny. He really cracks me up."