Belfast Telegraph

Simon Cowell labels himself a gender pay gap 'pioneer'

Simon Cowell hasn't ruled out having more children in the future.

Simon Cowell has labelled himself a "pioneer" for paying female judges on The X Factor more than their male counterparts.

A recent list of BBC salaries showed that of the top 96 highest-earning stars at the organisation, 62 were men and 34 were women, with the average man earning £295,000 ($387,000) and the average woman earning £210,000 ($275,000).

Simon was asked for his opinion on the report during an interview with Britain's The Sun newspaper, upon which he revealed that he himself has had a big impact on the issue of the gender pay gap.

"For once this is good news. Victory. Yeah, they (female X Factor judges) definitely are (paid more). I just don’t tell Louis (Walsh)," he said. "I’m almost like a pioneer I guess, yeah. If they get the money, it doesn’t matter to me whether you’re a boy or a girl. But I would say we’ve probably paid girls more money than guys over the years."

Simon is reported to have paid Cheryl significantly more than veteran judge Louis on the U.K. show, while Britney Spears earned more than her male judges on the U.S. version of the TV talent show.

When it comes to the BBC reveal in general, Simon said he believes it is a positive thing because it has allowed those being underpaid to rectify the situation.

"I don’t think the BBC are a bad organisation who deliberately try to make these things happen," he mused. "But it was definitely an imbalance, and if I was in that situation I would correct it immediately."

In recent years, Simon has been concentrating on his personal life as well as his career, and is now father to three-year-old son Eric with partner Lauren Silverman.

While the tot wasn't planned, Simon hasn't ruled out having more children in the future.

"Look I wouldn’t say no, but I had no idea (with Eric)... it wasn’t planned. I think if I’d have sat here four years ago and said to you, ‘Dan, I’m going to be a dad’ it would have been like, ‘Yeah right’.

"And even if I’d have said yes, I would have said at the time I’m not sure I’ll be a great dad because I just don’t know what to do. Then the most amazing thing happens."

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