Simon Cowell Was a Contestant on ‘Sale of the Century’

Simon Cowell became a celebrity in the U.S. for his brutally honest comments on American Idol. Many fans of the series found his candid remarks to be hilarious, while others thought he just seemed mean and grumpy. Cowell seems to have calmed down a bit since his American Idol days.

He is now a much more patient, docile host on America’s Got Talent. It’s rather ironic that Cowell ended up hosting these competition series, as he was actually a contestant on a game show long before he was famous. 

Simon Cowell smiling
Simon Cowell | Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images

Cowell didn’t win big on ‘Sale of the Century’

Buzzfeed reports Cowell appeared on the show Sale of the Century, and he doesn’t seem too happy about it.  According to MetroUK, Cowell referred to the game show appearance as having come back to haunt him.

“My sister-in-law, ex-sister-in-law, I might add, after this – was like a host or something on this particular show and then one day a contestant didn’t show up and she said, ‘Would you like to be on?’ never thinking years later this would come back to haunt me.”

Sale of the Century was a game show about shopping, where contestants competed for the chance to spend their cash winnings on a grand prize. The show aired from 1972 to 1983 and was revived in 1989. That’s when Cowell made his appearance, although it wasn’t a very memorable one. The star left the show winning only a set of kitchen scales. 

Simon Cowell got into trouble as a kid

It appears that Cowell was quite a handful as a child. According to The Sun, the star was arrested when he was only 12 years old. He and a friend rode a public bus and thought they would pull an epic prank. Cowell had a toy gun (that shot peas) and held it up to the driver’s head, telling him not to stop driving until they reached Watford. 

The driver was terrified, and Cowell effectively hijacked the bus for the next 20 miles. When they arrived in Watford, the police were waiting to arrest him. He was tossed in a cell for a little while and then interrogated by police. However, the truly terrifying part of the whole experience was Cowell’s mother. He recalled that she was so angry with him, that it was far more frightening than any police officer. 

In addition to Cowell’s brush with the law, he just couldn’t seem to get his act together in school. Yahoo reports that the music mogul was regularly in trouble at school. His parents eventually sent him to Dover College, which was a boarding school. He hated it so much and caused so much trouble that he dropped out when he was just 16. 

Cowell may be rude to a lot of people, but never to animals

Anyone who has watched an episode of America’s Got Talent can tell that Cowell absolutely loves animals. The host has a soft spot for animals of all kinds, which is evident any time he sees an act with a furry star take the stage. However, his favorite animals appear to be dogs. Cowell’s whole face simply lights up every time he sees a dog, and his excitement is obvious. 

Cowell loves dogs so much, in fact, that he saved over 200 four-legged friends from death at a South Korean dog meat farm. Cowell even met one of the dogs he saved during an interview with Good Morning Britain. The news show’s correspondent, Philippa Tomson, had adopted one of the dogs saved from the farm. She brought her to the interview to meet Cowell. 

According to People, Cowell held the sweet, four-legged friend, Robin, on his lap for the entire interview. Cowell donated $32,600 to Humane Society International, which helped shut down the South Korean dog farm where Robin and hundreds of other dogs were held.

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