He is known to millions as TV's Mr Nasty but Simon Cowell showed he has an altogether softer side after being ambushed on television by the first girl he ever kissed.
The star was left blushing furiously when Brit Tara McDonald-Smith called him during a Q&A session on his US show American Idol and revealed how the pair kissed at the bottom of his garden when they were just nine years old.
Mr Cowell looked visibly shocked by the call, wincing and holding his head in his hands in disbelief.
He said: "My god, we're going back 17 years. This is really you Tara? This literally was my first kiss - this was my first crush."
The star, 48, was further embarrassed when fellow judges Randy Jackson and Miss Abdul teasingly asked Miss McDonald-Smith if he was a good kisser.
The 46-year-old paused for some time before joking the incident had left her needing therapy.
It did not take long for Mr Cowell to turn his charm back on, however, asking the single mother, "Do you still look cute?"
A source close to Mr Cowell told the Daily Mail: "He would love to meet up with Tara. He's really glad she came forward and thinks it would be brilliant to catch up."
Source: DailyMail, SplashNews