Caustic American Idol judge Simon Cowell has gone to extreme lengths to ensure his safety for the show's next series - he has hired a personal bodyguard.

Pop svengali Simon is judging the British version of the talent show, POP IDOL, as well as the American one, and while bodyguards for the judges are de rigueur in the States, this is a new move for a critic in England.

A Pop Idol source says, "When Simon was in America doing the show, all the judges were given bodyguards. Some of the kids who go for an audition don't take the bad news too well so producers wanted to make sure there were no ugly incidents.

"As a result, Simon insisted on having a minder when the new UK series starts."

Bodyguard TONY ADKINS has previously safeguarded names including PRINCESS ANNE, Boy George, Simple Minds and Iron Maiden.

27/07/2003 11:47