Emmy honour to focus on Cowell’s kinder side

SIMON COWELL’S kinder side will be spotlighted when the former American Idol judge is honoured at the 38th Annual International Emmy Awards.

Cowell, who left Idol earlier this year to launch an American version of his hit British singing competition The X Factor next year, will be presented with the International Emmy Founders Award in recognition of both his television achievements and extensive charitable work. The awards ceremony will take place tonight at the Hilton New York Hotel.

“Here’s a guy who has really changed television,” said Bruce L Paisner, president and CEO of the International Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. “He has taken the form of the television talent show, reinvented and repositioned it, and made it must-view television.”

The presentation to Cowell will be the centrepiece of the awards show, hosted by former Beverly Hills 90210 star Jason Priestley, in which 39 nominees from 15 countries will be vying in 10 categories for International Emmys, honouring excellence in TV programming outside the US.

British television productions garnered a leading nine nominations, including two for The Street, the BBC1 series about the lives of different residents on a road in northwest England. The Street is in contention for best drama series and best actor for Bob Hoskins in his role as a reformed alcoholic who runs a pub and stands up to the neighbourhood mobster.

Helena Bonham Carter is among the nominees for best actress for the biopic Enid, on BBC4, in which she portrayed the popular British children’s writer Enid Blyton, who had a troubled personal life.

As an Idol judge, Cowell helped raise more than $180 million (€132m) for charities in three seasons of Idol Gives Back.

Also he has used his position in the entertainment industry to raise millions more for children’s, animal welfare and other charities worldwide.

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