Simon Cowell was recovering in hospital last night after breaking three vertebrae in a fall from a new electric bicycle.
The TV mogul, 60, required six hours of surgery and had a metal rod put in his back.
He will have to cancel all professional commitments for the rest of the month.
Doctors say he was lucky not to suffer life-changing injuries.
Simon Cowell, 60, was recovering in hospital last night after breaking three vertebrae in a fall from a new electric bicycle
He was trying out the £3,000 bike in the courtyard at his Malibu home on Saturday in front of his partner Lauren Silverman, 43, their son Eric, six, and her son Adam from her earlier marriage.
He instantly realised that he had injured his back and a distraught Miss Silverman called for an ambulance.
A source said: ‘He was in shock and enormous amounts of pain.’
Sources say he did not lose consciousness after the fall and was able to chat from his hospital bed – even asking for his iPad before surgery in order to keep up with messages and emails.
Yesterday afternoon he was in recovery, awake and doing well. Lauren has been waiting outside hospital, mostly in the car, diue to Covid-19 restrictions, but was allowed to see him briefly before surgery.
He was trying out the £3,000 bike in the courtyard at his Malibu home (pictured) on Saturday in front of his partner Lauren Silverman, 43, their son Eric, six, and her son Adam from her earlier marriage
His spinal cord is not believed to have been affected and it is hoped there are no long-term implications for his mobility.
A source said: ‘It’s a bad injury but the doctors have said he was very lucky.
‘When he fell off his bike he landed right on his back which broke in a number of places. He had six-hour surgery overnight.
‘It was pretty major surgery, he’s got a number of breaks and has had to have a metal rod put into his back. He’s doing OK in the circumstances.’
Simon Cowell splash out a whopping $25 million for Malibu mansion overlooking the ocean
In a statement, his spokesman said yesterday: ‘Simon has broken his back in a number of places in a fall from his bike while testing a new electric bike in the courtyard of his home in Malibu with his family.
‘He was taken to hospital where they operated overnight, he’s under observation and is doing fine.’
This is his second serious accident. Cowell previously fell down the stairs at his London home in October 2017 after fainting.
He said that his unhealthily nocturnal lifestyle was to blame, and decided to completely overhaul the way he lived.
This is Cowell’s second serious accident. Cowell previously fell down the stairs at his London home in October 2017 after fainting
‘Sometimes we get a reminder that we’re not invincible and this was certainly mine,’ he said. ‘It was a huge shock.
‘They think I fainted because I had low blood pressure and so I have got to take good care of myself to sort that out.
‘After all, I am a dad and have more responsibility than ever.’
The mogul, who is worth £385million, started his health overhaul by buying two homes, each of them more a family residence than a bachelor pad.
The first was a huge house in the south-west London suburbs, which will in time replace his Holland Park pad in west London and is being fully refurbished.
He also bought the huge mansion in Malibu – where this weekend’s accident took place – for £19million. It has already replaced his mansion in Beverly Hills.
The latter, familiar to many from being featured in the Judges Houses section of The X Factor, was due to sell for £18million this week.
I’m told he prefers the more ‘relaxed vibe’ of living by the beach and was finally ready to wave goodbye to his old bachelor quarters.
‘He loves the Malibu house so much that he started living there full time right away, even though the plan was for it to be refurbished first,’ a source said.
The new house, where he has spent lockdown, has seven bedrooms and nine bathrooms spread over 10,000 sq ft, with wonderful views over the Pacific.
Despite his tumble, the X Factor boss is otherwise fit and healthy, after he revealed he shed a whopping 60 lbs
There are staff quarters, a spa, a tennis court and a four-car garage.
Cowell – who was once a regular at lap dancing clubs – and Miss Silverman have been an item since 2013, when in a surprise announcement it emerged that she was pregnant with his child.
Sources say he has yet to propose marriage as he ‘can’t bear’ the idea of matrimony, monogamy or losing his freedom.
However, he has embraced family life and says that his love for son Eric is ‘beyond anything I have ever experienced’. He has been insisting on camping in the garden at the weekends as part of a new taste for family life.
Cowell’s representative explained: ‘Simon had a fall from his bike on Saturday afternoon whilst testing his new electric bike in the courtyard at his house in Malibu with his family’
‘Lauren, the first time, [at] 11 o’clock said, “I can’t deal with this”… and I said “No, we are staying outside”,’ he said.
Although he still smokes, he barely touches alcohol and follows a largely vegetarian diet – eschewing old favourites such as burgers, pizza and sausage rolls. As a result he has lost 4st in a year.
‘I went to see this guy who’s very well-known,’ he has said. ‘And he said to me, after doing some blood work, “You can’t have red meat, dairy, sugar, bread or gluten”.’
A source said: ‘He is actually healthier than he ever has been which is why he was trying out an electric bike in the first place. He is, at least, in great shape to recover from it.
‘We will need three or four weeks of rest and recuperation and we are hoping that he will be fine for the America’s Got Talent finale in September and the Britain’s Got Talent live final in October.’
On a professional level this has also been a period of revolution.
During lockdown, Cowell has completed a large and complex buyback deal with Sony. It has seen him regain full control of his TV company, Syco Entertainment, but let his music label go.
Cowell, who had a successful career at Sony’s record label RCA, has struggled to launch new stars via The X Factor in recent years.
On the go: That day his girlfriend Lauren Silverman was seen riding her non-electric bicycle down a sunny street in Malibu
Winners such as Louisa Johnson, Matt Terry and Rak Su were quickly forgotten. His relationship with girl band Little Mix, who won the show in 2011, soured while they were finishing their last album and they quit Syco, releasing it through RCA instead.
Syco’s biggest success was One Direction, who went on hiatus in 2015. Former and member Louis Tomlinson decided to leave Syco this year after releasing his debut solo album Walls in January. Former bandmate Harry Styles is signed to Sony label Columbia.
Sony did have a 50 per cent stake in Syco Holdings and a 25 per cent stake in his TV firm Syco Entertainment, paying Cowell around £45million in 2016.
Under the buyback, Sony will hang on to the lucrative back catalogue of former Syco artists, including One Direction, and Cowell will no longer be involved in the music business.
Instead he will concentrate on his TV shows. An insider said: ‘Simon has had to pay a massive amount to regain control of Syco Entertainment. That has meant he is no longer involved in Syco Music but it’s not in great shape right now.
Leaving it makes sense for him because he can instead focus on his Got Talent shows, as those are his money makers.’
Although ratings for The X Factor have suffered in the UK and it has taken a ‘hiatus’ this year after a run of poor ratings, X Factor shows still air in more than 130 territories and the Got Talent franchise has 76 local versions.
Cowell, who had a successful career at Sony’s record label RCA, has struggled to launch new stars via The X Factor in recent years
He has devised three new entertainment formats, telling the website Deadline last month: ‘I have had to use my brain more than any other time of my life both on the current shows we own and the new shows we are going to make.
‘I’ve had the time to work on them, develop them properly and the last time I did that or had the time to do it, honestly, was around 2005 – which was about the time I came up with Got Talent.’
Cowell signed a five-year commissioning deal with ITV last year, which will see BGT continue on the channel until at least 2024.
Sources say the intention is to bring The X Factor back in 2021 or 2022. ‘We still believe that there is strength in the brand,’ I am told.