SIMON Cowell has revealed that his horror fall last week was caused by low blood pressure.
The X Factor boss, 58, admits he was lucky to survive after fainting and tumbling down stairs.
After he was rushed to hospital in a neck brace and told to rest from this weekend’s shows, Cowell has vowed to change his lifestyle for the sake of three-year-old son Eric.
Simon said: “Sometimes we get a reminder that we’re not invincible and this was certainly mine. It was a huge shock.
“They think I fainted because I had low blood pressure and so I have got to really take good care of myself to sort that out.
“After all I am a dad and have more responsibility than ever.”
Recalling the accident in detail for the first time, he said: “I’d gone to get some hot milk because I felt ropey. On the way back upstairs, I just remember feeling really dizzy.
“Next thing I know someone was putting a neck brace on me and I had a terrible headache, which must have been from me hitting the stairs. I was worried at first that I’d done some real damage.
“But I’m on the mend now. I know I was very lucky I didn’t hurt myself seriously.
“It could have been a lot worse. I must say, everyone at the hospital were incredible. I’m truly grateful.”
But on docs’ advice he watched the weekend shows at home with partner Lauren Silverman, 40, and Eric. Judges Louis Walsh, Sharon Osbourne and Nicole Scherzinger took charge on Saturday.
Last night they were joined by Britain’s Got Talent judge Alesha.
A source said: “The medics told Simon it would be too quick for him to return to work 48 hours after a serious medical episode.
Simon Cowell listened to doctors advice and skipped the first week of live shows
“Alesha was a natural stand-in. She’s well liked and knows what she’s doing.”
Last Thursday evening, hours before the accident, Simon spoke to The Sun about the changes to the live shows and his hopes for the final.
At X Factor’s new West London studios, he said: “If we don’t find an out-and-out star this year we’ve failed. I’d blame myself. And all of us.
“You can’t get it right every year. But I’m genuinely excited by a few people we’ve turned up.”
In June, Simon Cowell pulled out of the X Factor’s London auditions over a mystery illness
This year the Sunday results show has been changed to include a second round of singing.
Simon has scrapped the survival sing-off which would see the judges vote to save their favourite act, often sparking controversy.
Instead more screen time is devoted to the most talented singers and less to the no-hoper “novelty” acts.
And in a further twist, the top-ranking performers after the weekend’s public vote will sing once more for a “money can’t buy prize”.
Simon added: “Now each weekend is like a mini-final. When we say ‘money cant buy’ it’s got to be exactly that. When the team showed me what they’d got for prizes I almost didn’t believe them. They’re bloody brilliant.”
Asked if he is desperate to emulate Strictly’s success, Simon said: “It’s the same as when you’re running a record label. You’re having a good run then out of nowhere another artist on another label starts selling gazillions.
“All you can think is ‘Right, how do I get my artist to do that too?’
“Do I always want to be more successful? One million percent.
“The truth is, and I hate to use words like ‘catch-up’ etc, but about eight million watch our show every week, and maybe even as many as ten million in the end.
“I haven’t watched Strictly in four years. I probably should. But I’m like that with the record label too.
“Sometimes you see a big album drop but you think, ‘Shall I listen to it — maybe not it’s just going to make me feel sick!’”
Simon is thrilled ex-judge Cheryl’s return as a guest has proved a hit.
He said: “She’s so quick. We’ve had our ups and down but we have an amazing working relationship. We hope to feature Cheryl in another show we’re working on. We’re going to announce it soon.”
Simon had “no idea” about Nicole Scherzinger’s future after she recently hinted she could quit.
He added: “All I would say is the people on the show have got to want to be about the contestants, I’ve always said that.
“If you’ve got bad contestants you’ve got a bad show . . . great contestants, you’ve got a shot.”
HOW YOU CAN TACKLE THE CONDITION
FAINTING is always due to low blood pressure at that moment.
When blood flow to the brain plummets, you lose consciousness.
Some people do have continually low blood pressure – under 90/60.
On the whole having low blood pressure is a good thing and often needs no treatment.
But some people can get symptoms like dizziness or recurrent fainting.
You can help the condition by not standing for long periods and by avoiding dehydration and excess alcohol.
Also, don’t miss meals. Have frequent small meals.