Cowell honours father in baby name
1:58am Saturday 15th February 2014 in © Press Association 2014
Simon Cowell has named his first child Eric after his father.
The music mogul and and his American girlfriend, Lauren Silverman, are now he proud parents of a son who was born on Valentine's Day weighing in at 6lb 7oz.
The 54-year-old X Factor judge jetted over to New York and was by his partner's side as she gave birth, leaving his seat at the auditions for Britain's Got Talent beside fellow judges David Walliams, Alesha Dixon and Amanda Holden empty.
Cowell spoke of his joy on Twitter, saying: "Very happy to say Eric was born at 17.45pm. Healthy and handsome.
"Lauren in great shape. Thanks for all of your kind messages. Named after my dad."
Walliams joked on Twitter that Cowell had named his son after a host of celebrities and an ex-girlfriend.
He tweeted: "Huge congratulations to @SimonCowell and Lauren Silverman on the birth of their son. They have named him David Sinitta Louis-Walsh Cowell.
Dixon tweeted: " Congratulations!!! Yay!!! Such great news! Welcome to the world baby Eric! Lots of love xxx #youweremissedtoday :)"
Piers Morgan also took to Twitter to say that calling the baby Eric in honour of the father Cowell "adored" is a "lovely tribute".
Cowell's father died of a heart attack in 1999 aged 81 and the star has previously described him as a "brilliant mentor".
Cowell was seen nervously puffing on a cigarette before entering the maternity ward, according to the Sun.
A friend told the newspaper: "Simon was in shock when he got the pre-dawn call.
"It's not often he loses his cool but this was one of those times."
At that point a "very excited" Holden tweeted that she hoped he would have a "safe flight and safe birth", while Sinitta, one of Cowell's ex-girlfriends, tweeted a a mocked-up photograph of a baby with its nappy hitched up to his chest, some fake chest hair and a dense mop of black hair.
She said: "All is well and baby boy says 'parents are well and CUTE!'. Happy Valentines day BABY!! #justInTimeValentine!"