Simon Cowell asks his dead parents for advice if he is struggling to make a ''difficult decision''.

The music mogul's father Eric passed away in 1999 and his mother Julie died in 2015, but he still likes to have conversations with the pair in his mind when he is looking for inspiration because he ''absolutely knows'' they will come up with the right answer.

He said: ''I still talk to my mum and my dad in my mind now if I am having a difficult decision or I am struggling with something.

''I have a mental conversation with the both of them and I absolutely know what the answer is - it is the weirdest thing.''

While the 'X Factor' boss is now a household name, he didn't expect to last too long when he was a judge on 'Pop Idol' - the TV music competition which ran from 2001 to 2003 - and ''hated'' filming the programme.

He is quoted by the Daily Star as saying: ''I wasn't paid the first year I went on TV... I wasn't even thinking about it.

''It was like, look I can probably do a better job at electing the artists than anyone else so I'll do it and then it all went kinda nuts.

''I found the process so miserable, the filming, I'm not kidding, I hated it.''

Shortly after Julie's death in July 2015, Simon - who has three-year-old son Eric with Lauren Silverman - broke down on 'The X Factor' during contestant Joshua Daniel's rendition of Labrinth's 'Jealous'.

He said at the time: ''I mean, it was quite near when it all happened and I think it was the last audition.

''I wasn't really expecting what happened and of course the lyric of the song. It was quite difficult because I thought, 'God, this is going to be really hard to sit through this.'

''But then you've got to think of him [Joshua] and it's his moment. But yes, it was very emotional.''