Simon Cowell regrets not speaking up when he had the chance early in his career - and putting an end to Eddie Murphy's pop dreams. The caustic Pop Idol and American Idol co-creator and star was hired to help Murphy hit the high notes in the early 1980s and, in hindsight, he wishes he had the nerve back then to tell the Shrek star he was terrible. Cowell, who is famous for his cruel attacks on pop wannabes on his TV talent shows, says, "He (Murphy) was interested in making a record, so I flew to the east coast (of America), to his huge house, and I was very intimidated. "I thought it would be just the two of us and a hi-fi. But I ended up in a recording studio with about 20 nodders; a nodder is someone who gets paid to agree with the person paying him. "Eddie started to play some songs, which I hated, and I just didn't know what to say. Now I'd find it a lot easier. I would just say, 'I hate it.'"