Bereaved Cowell goes back to work
Grieving Simon Cowell showed the show must go on - but shunned the spotlight at today's X-Factor auditions.
The music mogul was expected to walk the red carpet with the ITV talent contest's fellow judges before beginning judging the auditions.
Rita Ora and Cheryl Fernandez-Versini, with new presenters Olly Murs and Caroline Flack, had arrived to the delighted cheering of excited fans and well wishers.
But it quickly became apparent that while Cowell would be judging auditions inside the studios at Event City in Manchester, he would not be following fellow stars down the red carpet lined with hundreds of fans along and studded with press photographers.
It is understood following his bereavement Cowell made a late decision not to appear arriving for auditions, following the death of his mother, Julie, 89, on Sunday.
Auditions in Manchester were due to begin on Monday but were cancelled.
Cowell tweeted a tribute to his "very special" mother yesterday and thanked all those who had sent messages of sympathy.
He said: "My family lost someone very special on Sunday. My Mum. I am overwhelmed with gratitude for all of the kind messages received. Thank you. X"
Mrs Cowell was the mother of four boys - Nicholas, Simon, Tony and Michael, and stepmother to John and June.
A family statement after her death read: "Anyone who had met her would know what a truly special and kind lady she was. We are heartbroken and will miss her terribly, but she is now at peace."
It fell to fellow judges to provide the star quality for the crowds of audition hopefuls and fans who had waited in the wind and rain for his arrival.
Rita Ora in matching scarlet knee length boots and skirt was last to arrive on the red carpet, following a crescendo of excitement and cheers for fans' favourite Cheryl Fernandez-Versini.
Olly Murs and Caroline Flack will front the new-look show when it goes out on ITV1 later this year.