Simon Cowell said attending the world premiere of Harry Hill’s X Factor spoof musical I Can’t Sing! was like seeing his second baby born.
The music mogul – who last month became a father for the first time – is one of the show’s financial backers and his recent parenthood is reflected in the script.
Cowell, who walked the red carpet at the Palladium in London with girlfriend Lauren Silverman, said: “It’s like my second baby this year.”
The production, which stars Nigel Harman as a Cowell-like show boss, takes an affectionate swipe at a number of figures associated with the ITV show with characters based on Cheryl Cole – who is to return to the singing contest later this year – and Louis Walsh.
Take That star Gary Barlow gets a nod with a dog named after him.
Other celebrity guests at the opening night included Louis Walsh, Sinitta, former X Factor stars Rylan Clark and Stacey Solomon and Britain’s Got Talent judge Amanda Holden.
There have been some teething troubles with the show during the early days of its preview run at the theatre, with scheduled performances put back a few days to sort out staging issues.
Harry Hill said he was confident about opening night.
“We’ve run it now for four weeks and it’s always gone really well, so, the law of averages…”
He also promised he hadn’t held back when mocking Cowell or any of the other judges.
“We never thought twice about it.
“We wrote what we wanted to write and he was always fine about.
“I’m not the sort of person who is nasty for the sake of being nasty.”
Meanwhile, Cowell said he was delighted to have Cheryl Cole back as a judge for the 11th series of The X Factor.
He refused to reveal who else was joining him on the panel, but denied he had been in talks with Rihanna.