Simon Cowell left fellow American Idol judge Paula Abdul red-faced during an appearance on Jay Leno's chat show on Monday (10MAY04) - when he asked her to declare her love for him.

The pair's bickering has become an expected part of their banter whenever they appear together onscreen, and while they have often teased fans with occasional flashes of affection, Cowell decided to question Abdul about her feelings for him in front of the live Las Vegas audience.

He told Leno, "Paula is my poodle. If you have a little dog, you look after the dog by stroking it."

He then turned to Abdul and asked, "Let me ask you a question: are you in love with me? I'm being serious."

Abdul quickly shot back, "With a straight face, no laughing, I am not in love with you."

12/05/2004 09:21