Simon Cowell flanked by Ant and Dec at today's press conference

SIMON Cowell was his usual polite self at this afternoon’s launch for one of ITV’s biggest events of 2011.

Thanking us for taking the time to turn up, and revealing that he still worries no-one will.

There was no chance of that, even though the invites to the London event only went out some 24 hours before.

Gamu Nhengu

“WHAT a fantastic way to kick off the next series of X Factor.”

Cheryl Cole is talking about the very first act you will see on stage when The X Factor returns for a seventh series this Saturday night.

House husband Steve, 41, whose Disco Inferno really does burn, baby, burn in its own special way.

But Cheryl could have been describing the entire opening 90-minute show.