Turns out the X Factor boss has a criminal past...

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After so many years on our screens, you’d think we’d know pretty much everything about Simon Cowell – but he’s just gone and revealed a seriously SHOCKING secret.

The music mogul claimed during an honest interview with This Morning’s Alison Hammond on Friday that he was once thrown in JAIL aged just 12 after he ‘hijacked’ a bus using a fake gun. Yes, really.

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Simon, 58, confessed to the bizarre story when Alison put some ‘true or false’ questions to him and asked whether the incident had really happened.

‘It was a joke,’ the X Factor boss explained to a shocked Alison. ‘I thought. I put a gun – I shouldn’t even be saying this – it was a pretend gun, and we said to the bus driver, “Take us to Watford!”

‘He literally did not stop from Radcliffe to Watford.’

The memories of the bonkers moment came back to Simon when he recently visited the area with his group Rak-Su.

‘I was in Watford with Rak-Su the other day and I told them the story, “The last time I went to bloody Watford, I was actually thrown in jail,”’ he told Alison. Blimey.

It wasn’t the only shock blast from the past during the interview as Alison, 44, also asked Simon whether it was true or false that he had worked as a runner on 1980 horror film The Shining – something that in fact wasn’t strictly true.

‘I did actually try and be the runner, and I was turned down by [film director] Stanley Kubrick,’ the dad-of-one revealed.

‘That’s why I ended up in the music business, because I didn’t get that job, then I got a job in the mailroom at EMI. Fate.’

And another rumour Simon – who lives with girlfriend Lauren Silverman and their three-year-old son Eric – has black toilet paper in his house.

‘I used to,’ he confessed. ‘I don’t know who put it in, it was crazy. Not anymore.’

So now we know pretty much everything we ever wanted to know – and a little bit more – about Simon Cowell!