I Can't Sing! Show 'Embarrassing' For Cowell
Simon Cowell has said it was embarrassing watching Harry Hill's X Factor spoof musical.
The music mogul was among a host of stars who attended the world premiere of the show at London's Palladium on Wednesday night.
The musical, which is written by Hill and Steve Brown, stars Olivier award-winning Nigel Harman as Cowell, who forms part of the X Factor judging panel.
Other characters are said to parody judges Louis Walsh and Cheryl Cole, as well as host Dermot O'Leary.
Cowell, who is one of the £6m musical's financial backers, said being in the audience was like seeing his second baby born this year. His first child, his son Eric, was born on February 14.
Cowell, who walked the red carpet at the Palladium in London with girlfriend Lauren Silverman, admitted: "It's embarrassing, but I've got a thick skin.
"It's exciting, and I never thought I'd be in this spot. I don't know much about the West End or musicals, but the very first time I saw the run through I really, really liked the show.
"And now I've seen the Twitter reaction to the previews and the people who've seen it really love it. So I'm thrilled."
The comedy features 19 original songs with titles including Please Simon, I Wanna Be Like Bono and the title number, I Can't Sing.
Walsh said: "I thought it was fantastic. I'm going to come back again and again. It's funny, it's brilliant and it's got the X Factor."
When asked what he felt the secret to a successful musical was, the show's director, Simon Foley, said "We don't even know if it is going to be a success. I mean that is really up to the public to decide.
"I mean, essentially, any show you put on is really down to then the audience, do they like it? We've been lucky I guess that since we've opened for previews the audiences have, I think, loved it. I mean our very first preview we got a standing ovation."
The production has been plagued by early problems. Two early previews were cancelled due to technical issues, and a further preview was abandoned mid-performance.
At the stage door after the performance, Hill signed autographs and said: "Thrilled. It's never gone better. The cast were fantastic and it sounded great too. It was a brilliant audience reaction and I've talked to Simon and he's very pleased too."
Critics have decided the show has the X Factor, lauding its "glorious gags", "winning wit" and unbridled mocking of the narcissism of showbusiness.
The Times awarded the show four stars from five, with Dominic Maxwell saying it "boasts some glorious gags and several delectably silly set pieces".