Simon Cowell’s ‘Mr Nasty’ image has taken a bit of a battering since his son Eric was born – his social-media pages are rammed with pictures of him doting on the little fellow.
And the 58-year-old music mogul showed off his softer side in public on last night’s X Factor.
Tensions were high on set as Simon made his choices in the dreaded Six Chair Challenge.
But three-year-old Eric didn’t seem to notice as he approached his dad from behind to fetch a bag of satsumas. And it’s fair to say that viewers at home LOVED it.
Simon turned around, handed the fruit to his lad and said: “There you go, darling,” before father and son gave each other the thumbs-up.
Eric – whose mother is Cowell’s American partner Lauren Silverman – then proceeded to hand the satsumas to someone in the audience. What a cutie!
And the act of kindness melted viewers’ hearts, with many taking to Twitter to express their joy.
One fan gushed: “AWWWW LITTLE ERIC #XFactor.”
Another asked: “Why did I just cry at how cute Eric and Simon are together?”
And a third cooed: “Eric and @SimonCowell putting their thumbs up to each other actually just made my life.”
It was a night of high drama on the singing show as Simon deliberated over who to put through to the judges’ houses stage.
Among his final six are New Girl Group – the five-piece he largely put together from rejects in the girls category.
The fifth member, Ash, Simon took from another girl band, NQ, who didn’t earn one of the final six seats.
And some fans on Twitter were critical of the move. One wrote: “Meanwhile, Ash’s band are backstage, hailing a cab after having lost their place, band mate and probably friend…”
Another girl group, Lemonade, were put through following a sing-off with boy band JBK, a decision that prompted Nicole to leave the venue in disgust.
Jack and Joel, The Cutkelvins, Sean and Conor Price, and Rak-Su are the other acts that’ll be jetting off to the South of France with Simon in the last stage before the live shows.
No doubt they’ll be joined by a certain cute three-year-old…