Simon Cowell is the lynchpin of Britain's Got Talent, the big dog on the panel, the one whose opinion always seems to matter most. As the music mogul returns as a judge on the ITV show alongside David Walliams, Amanda Holden and Alesha Dixon, here's everything you need to know:

Biography

Simon Cowell is a music mogul and serial talent show judge, delivering "big fat yeses" and "one million percent yeses" all over the place as well as wisecracks and put-downs that have earned him the nickname Mr Nasty. 

The 57-year-old is the founder and chief executive of the entertainment company and record label Syco. But he's best known to the public as a judge on The X Factor and Britain's Got Talent, having previously starred on America's Got Talent, American Idol and Pop Idol.

In 2013 Simon allegedly began dating Lauren Silverman, who at the time was married. Lauren gave birth to Simon's son in 2014, having been divorced by her husband Andrew Silverman. Eric is now three.

Everything you need to know about Britain's Got Talent 2017

He thinks his son could follow in his footsteps as a judge

Eric Cowell is only three but already likes to tag along with his dad to auditions. Simon reveals: "He’s got a really good eye and ear for it, so yes, he’s going to be doing this one day."

How's he getting on with David Walliams?

Simon and David don't have the smoothest relationship, but this year they seem to have come to an understanding. 

"I’ve just got to the point now, genuinely, where it’s like having your auntie’s dog, who’s getting on a bit, around you," Simon says.

"You go round for tea and the dog starts humping your leg. The first couple of years it’s like, ‘Can you please not hump my leg?’, after the third or fourth you’re like, ‘Just get it over with’, and that’s kind of how I feel about David right now."

"I have to say though, he’s so much fun because he’s so spoilt and needy! He needs so much attention it’s almost like watching a second show when he’s there. I really do like him, he makes me laugh. He’s so annoying at times but it’s more fun than not."

He wants to champion the underdogs

Simon sees himself as the man who can pluck a diamond from the rough and deliver them to global fame. 

"The motivation is that a lot of people who come on my shows, without this showcase, they couldn’t get very far or doors would shut in their faces.

"BGT is all about championing the public and we welcome anyone. There are loads of people right from year one, like Paul Potts and Susan Boyle, who I genuinely do not feel would have had a shot at a record label. That’s what’s so good about this show, you do find people who are the underdogs sometimes."

Simon Cowell is really into Pinterest

Picture Simon Cowell, at 4am, staring intently at his phone screen as he pins a beautiful bedroom set to his mood board. According to Amanda Holden, this image is a reality: Simon has become addicted to Pinterest. 

Britain's Got Talent 2017 will begin on Saturday 15th April at 8pm on ITV