Simon Cowell gay rumor
The problem is where to begin. What we really want to know are things that are really, frankly, a bit rude to ask over coffee.
Is he gay?
Is his hair real?
Is he real, or just one of Sharon Osbourne's plastic surgery add-ons?
How rich is he?
Is there a vacancy for a Mrs Cowell?
Let's start with something a bit more general, though, in the interests of actually staying in the room. Is he really the vainest man on TV? He seems amused rather than angry at the question, which is a good start.
"Vain? Yeah, I am. But to be honest with you, I can't think of one person who is on TV who isn't vain. It's the nature of the beast. If you are on TV then you have a vanity, for sure. Just admit it! Why not?"
Goodie. We like admissions. Has he had copious cosmetic surgery then? His fellow X Factor judge Louis Walsh thinks he might have had pectoral implants.
"No, absolutely not. I have not had cosmetic surgery," he sniggers.
Botox then? He sucks his supper extraordinarily white teeth.
"Yes, I've had Botox, but not in an obsessive way. Then again, every guy I know who works in the City has had it now."
And what about the hair? Louis thinks it might be a wig. Then again, Louis is a known troublemaker, and Simon did fire him once.
"No, it's all real. I've never dyed my hair, ever, and I wouldn't," he says emphatically, though his eyes twinkle rather furiously.
"But yes, I like to take care of myself. I work out. I take lots of vitamins. What can I say? I think I look good for my age he's 52
"In the morning, I have a very set routine - Brenda, my housekeeper, brings me breakfast in bed, and it's always the same thing: Porridge, papaya juice, fresh fruit and a smoothie. I read the papers, have a bath, and everything is very calm."
Perhaps with a £100million fortune and five homes, including a £7million former ambassador's residence in London - and a global team of "Brendas" who are paid to know exactly how he likes his papaya juice - it's easy to be calm.
He is arguably the most powerful and arogant man in the British music business (he'd quibble with the "arguably" bit). One word from him makes or breaks dreams, careers, lives.
Quite how far he has come defies belief. But the journey explains an awful lot about him.
Simon himself has never wanted children, which strikes me as odd, firstly because he says family is so important, but secondly because of the legendary size of his ego.
Isn't the most egotistical thing in the world to want to recreate yourself? He physically shudders at the thought of it.
"I love kids - at least when they are old enough to talk. But my own? No. I'm terrified of the responsibility. Where would they fit in? I have to be able to fly to Los Angeles at a minute's notice."
And children, of course, cannot be controlled, in the way that staff, pop proteges and even girlfriends can be controlled?
"That's true," he says. "I am a little bit of a control freak, yes."
He says doesn't have that many close friends, which is surprising given that he is forever popping up in gossip columns with his 'best friend' Michael Winner, or his 'close confidante' Cilla Black.
He said: "I am friends with all my exes and I enjoy their company, but I keep crazy hours."
"I am not gay. But in this business, if you were it wouldn't matter. It is not exactly unusual to be gay in the music business or the TV business."
"It is 2009, after all. So if you are, you are and if you are not, you are not."
But despite his insistence that he is straight, the 49-year-old star admits he was "unlikely" to settle down with a woman.
He said: "I don't think marriage would suit me or the person I would marry. I am happy single."
"So until I sort out what I am going to do in the next couple of years, or beyond, it is difficult to think about that."
Cowell also hit back at claims he is underpaying the young stars he represents.
He added: "It's not slave labor. I don't mind being cast as a pantomime baddie but I pride myself on being fair in business."
"The precise figures are confidential, but these people earn around 50,000 pounds [$70,000] each on 'The X Factor' tour."
He's famed for his immaculate attention to image and vanity - but Simon Cowell looked grey and unshaven yesterday as revelations about his private life continue to make the headlines.
In the latest installment of Tom Bower's biography of the star - which is currently being serialised by The Sun - The X Factor boss admits he is bemused by rumours surrounding his sexuality.
Simon has insisted "I'm not gay".
In the book, he is quoted as saying: "If I was gay, why wouldn't I admit it? It wouldn't harm me and my mother wouldn't I admit it?"
"It wouldn't harm me and my mother wouldn't freak out."According to the biography the rumours first started when Simon started trying to establish then-girlfriend Sinitta's career in the 1980s, which saw him trying to flog her song So Macho to the gay market.
In an effort to do this he also befriended gay record producer Ian Levine, who admitted he saw Simon as a "camp, silly, indecisive record producer".
It has been a tough week for the X Factor mogul, which has seen his secret affair with Dannii Minogue exposed, as he seems to be showing the strain as he stepped out in London last night.An unshaven Simon was seen leaving Mr Chow's restaurant in London's Knightsbridge last night, after attending his opera group Il Divo's concert at the Royal Albert Hall.
However, he was spotted enjoying the company of a mystery brunette, after it was also revealed in the book that he has called off his engagement to make-up artist Mezghan Hussainy.Yesterday Simon opened up about the 'unauthorised' book - which actually saw Simon grant the author hours of access to him.
Speaking to US website TMZ, he said: "What I would say about the book, and I have to say this, is that I've been very embarrassed actually this week.
"It's not my habit to kiss and tell. I've never done it. I've always tried to keep my private life private, and it is unfortunate. So I was feeling very embarrassed and not gentlemanly at all this week because it's just not my style."