The music mogul allegedly admitted that he almost walked away from the X-Factor several years ago, but was persuaded to stay by contestant Leona Lewis.
"A couple of years ago I was not sure I wanted to carry on," Cowell told The Mirror. "It's a lot to juggle - making the shows, being on them - so I had to think twice about it. I think Leona Lewis probably changed my mind. She reminded me why we do this.
"Leona is the reason I decided to stay on two more years. She made it worthwhile again."
He added: "Three years and that's it - I will do what I've always done. I run a record label, I run a TV company, we're making movies now - I love that part of my life.
"I probably get more satisfaction from making a show than being on a show. I've been lucky, but I also know not to outstay my welcome."
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