Simon Cowell got into the music industry so he could be a “naughty boy”.

The star has enjoyed a successful career as talent scout and has his own record label. He also appears on talent shows such as The X Factor and was recently the subject of a biography by Tom Bower, which lifted the lid on his romantic life.

It was revealed he’d enjoyed a clandestine affair with Dannii Minogue but Simon insists he isn’t embarrassed by the book.

“I’ve been a naughty boy – that’s why I got into the music business. I’ve had my fair share, nothing too bad,” he said.

Simon sits on the judging panel of the American version of The X Factor. He is currently unattached following the breakdown of his engagement to Mezhgan Hussainy, which has affected his decisions on the show.

“If you are single, you can flirt. We’ve definitely put girls through because they are cute, in the same way the girls put guys through – it’s just the way of the world,” he laughed to British newspaper The Sun.

Simon is joined on the panel by L.A. Reid and new judges Britney Spears and Demi Lovato. He is thrilled the two women agreed to take part and is adamant they are perfect for the programme.

“There’s a kind of a mystique about [Britney]. She’s not on the show to be ‘Britney Spears on a TV show’, she’s actually there to prove to the world there’s more to her,” he explained.

“She wants to watch the stuff back to know what she’s done well and what she can improve on. She’s not just taking a cheque.”