Simon Cowell has recalled his wild behaviour when he was a pre-teen.
The TV mogul, who has an 8-year-old son named Eric, revealed he was already smoking and drinking from the age of eight and was arrested for hijacking a bus at age 12.
Simon, 63, said he got up to a lot of mischief in his childhood due to having a “low boredom threshold” and not being academic.
“I was so bad when I was Eric’s age. I was a nightmare,” Simon confessed.
Speaking to The Sun On Sunday, he said: “I was drinking and smoking at eight, and I once nearly burned the house down.”
Simon explained that he was trying to prove to his brother that Father Christmas didn’t exist, so he found the costume and set fire to Santa’s beard.
However, he dropped it on the sofa causing the whole room to catch fire.
Simon, who has three brothers, revealed that his eldest sibling caught wind of the smoke and called the fire brigade.
Simon went on to hijack a bus with a pea gun at the age of 12.
He recalled: “I thought it wouldn’t be taken seriously, but the driver called the police and I was arrested. I remember going back home and my mum being furious.”
“But I was so bad, slightly living on the edge,” he said.
Simon, who shares Eric with fiance Lauren Silverman, also revealed how his son saved his life.
Before becoming a dad in 2014, the businessman developed an “obsession” with work to the point it led to depression. However, welcoming his first child forced him to prioritise family life and slow down.