Simon Cowell has become obsessed with watching old episodes of crime series 'Columbo'.

The 59-year-old music mogul has revealed he has been binge watching the TV drama - which ran from 1968 to 2003 and starred the late Peter Falk as the titular homicide detective, a role which won him four Emmys - to help him relax when he's not working on his Syco label or his television shows, which include 'The X Factor' and 'America's Got Talent'.

Speaking on the Series Linked TV podcast about his favourite shows, he said: ''My favourite box set ever, and I just got it recently, is 'Columbo', seasons one to ten. That is about fifty episodes, I don't know what it is, I really really like the show. I think because I watched it as a kid it brings back happy memories because he is so funny in it.''

Cowell - who has five-year-old son Eric with his partner Lauren Silverman - is an avid TV viewer and has previously admitted he always watches classic Hanna-Barbera cartoons when he gets up in the mornings as they put him in a good mood.

Speaking to GQ magazine in 2011, he said: ''It's less depressing than watching the news, which is just relentless. You've got to try it one morning. You'll be happy for the rest of the day.''

Hanna-Barbera's animated shows include 'The Flinstones', 'The Jetsons', 'The Yogi Bear Show' and 'Wacky Races'.