Simon Cowell was until two months ago a confirmed bachelor, despite a string of very public romances with the likes of models Jackie St. Clair and 1980s pop diva Sinnita Simon.
He never seemed to show any inclination that he was the "settling down" type - in fact, he once said that he preferred the company of his dogs as "they are less expensive and tend not to argue as much."
Now, the "American Idol" judge is singing a different tune - he is glowing after falling in love with make up artist Mezhgan Hussainy.
Some critics think this romance with the 36-year-old Hussainy is a clever move to raise the profile of the arrival of the American edition of the British singing competition "X Factor," which a Fox source said is a "big adventure" for Cowell.
"He knows that his own show has to be a success...it has to be bigger than even 'Idol' and with his magic touch on shows he is taking no chances," the source continued.
Insiders, along with his very strong PR team, have stressed that Cowell's relationship with Hussainy is the real deal and that he is inches away from declaring his love and marriage plans within weeks. The "Idol" judge is not known to show his affections in public, but openly kissed his new squeeze on "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno" last month.
The romance, though, won't come to marriage until at least summer 2011. Why then? One insider said, "[Cowell] is the king of spin and knows that a great love story will help sell the U.S. version of ['X Factor'].
The source added, "Expect no wedding this year at all - 2011 is the year of Simon in the U.S. and he will pull out all the stops needed to become an even bigger success."
By Neil Sean