Simon Cowell is engaged to long-term love Lauren Silverman: Here's how it happened

Watch: Simon Cowell engaged to Lauren Silverman

After nine years, a couple can be pretty sure whether they're going the distance. And TV's favourite serial monogamist, Simon Cowell, 62, has finally popped the question to long-term partner and mother of son Eric, Lauren Silverman, 44.

According to The Sun, Cowell proposed while the couple were on holiday in Barbados over Christmas with Eric, seven, and Adam, Lauren's teenaged son from her previous marriage. A spokesman for Cowell has confirmed the happy news.

Though Cowell always asserted that he'd never marry, he apparently proposed on Christmas Eve. According to a source, "Lauren was absolutely stunned and never in a million years expected Simon to pop the question. She burst into tears – happy tears – and obviously said 'yes' straight away."

HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA - SEPTEMBER 17: Lauren Silverman and Simon Cowell arrives at the
The couple have been together for nine years. (WireImage)

The couple met back in 2004 on holiday in Barbados, but both were then with other partners.

Allegedly, Cowell and Silverman later began an affair, and when she and her then-husband Andrew Willner divorced in 2013, the pair got together publicly. Eric was born the following year.

In 2018 he paid tribute to his partner, saying "Lauren, you’ve been my rock for the past few years. Put up with everything I put up with."

Cowell is well known for staying friends with his exes - and few have had a bad word to say about him.

Read more: Simon Cowell and Lauren Silverman Are Engaged: 'They Are Both Super Happy,' Says Source

Childhood sweetheart and model Paula Hamilton, said he was 'very, very protective,' while glamour model Jackie St Clair, whom he dated back in the 70s, stayed such good friends with Cowell after the split that they would often go on holidays together.

Then, famously, there was singer Sinitta, of So Macho fame, who met Cowell in the '80s, and allegedly had an on and off relationship with him for over 20 years. She told a magazine, "There was always an element of "well, it's never really over.''

'But when Eric was born that was it. I would never come between his family."

Sinitta with Simon Cowell during the National Television Awards 2005 (NTA), at the Royal Albert Hall, central London, Tuesday 25 October 2005. See PA story SHOWBIZ Awards. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Photo credit should read: Steve Parsons/PA
Cowell and Sinitta back in 2005 - the pair were on-off for years. (PA)

The singer went on to add that Silverman had been her best friend, and when she and Cowell fell in love, "it was hard and caused a fallout".

There was also Terri Seymour, who dated Cowell between 2002 and 2008, who has remained friends with Simon too - their children now share play dates.

Cowell has been engaged more than once, notably to makeup artist Mezhgan Hussainy in 2010 - though they split in 2011.

Previous partners have mentioned his intensely busy schedule, and the fact that he always said he didn't want children as reasons for the break-ups, though few have genuinely criticised him as a partner or friend.

LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 17:  Simon Cowell and Terri Seymour attend a taping of Extra at The Grove on November 17, 2011 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic)
Cowell and Terri Seymour in 2011 - the two have stayed friends. (PA)

Back in November, Cowell told OK! Magazine that he and Silverman were "closer than ever" and that he just "really, really enjoys her company".

Asked about Eric, the doting dad added: "Year on year it just keeps getting better. Just seeing how his brain changes, it’s quite amazing. He’s a sweet little boy but he’s a lot like me when I was young.

"I could be really naughty and so can he! I have to say to him, 'Eric, Daddy has done exactly the same thing, you can’t fool me.' He’s my best friend, I adore him."

Read more: Simon Cowell vows to make TV comeback

Simon Cowell, Eric Cowell, Lauren Silverman at the Simon Cowell Star Ceremony on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on August 22, 2018 in Los Angeles, CA. (Photo by Katrina Jordan/Sipa USA)
Simon Cowell, Eric Cowell, Lauren Silverman at the Simon Cowell Star Ceremony on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2018. (Sipa USA)

He added, "Like everyone, we were in lockdown for a long time and that’s when you realise whether or not you actually enjoy each other’s company or not. And we really, really did. So to answer your question... yes, the romance is still alive!"

Asked about his Christmas plans, Cowell simply said: "I’ll be going to Barbados and I’ll go on a jet ski."

There was one plan, however, that he didn't mention - even to Silverman. Luckily, it worked out exactly as he hoped.

Watch: Simon Cowell and Lauren Silverman 'grew closer during lockdown'