Published: 11:54 EST, 18 September 2014 | Updated: 13:54 EST, 18 September 2014
They've been close pals for years but Piers Morgan has admitted he was still 'gobsmacked' when it was revealed that Simon Cowell was to become a dad at the age of 54.
And father-of-four, Piers, 49, admitted he had some doubts as to whether the notoriously vain music mogul - who welcomed son Eric with his girlfriend Lauren Silverman in February - 'could ever love anyone more than himself'.
However, Piers was pleasantly surprised and exclusively told MailOnline, ahead of his appearance on the Clare Balding Show at 10pm on BT Sport 2, on Friday, that becoming a dad has changed the former Mr Nasty and he is now 'much more cuddly'.
Doting dad: Piers Morgan has admitted he was 'gobsmacked' when his friend Simon Cowell revealed he was going to become a father
Surprise: Piers admitted his surprise at how 'cuddly' Simon has become as he spoke to MailOnline ahead of his appearance on The Clare Balding Show
Piers explained: 'I haven't met Eric yet but I had dinner with Simon and Lauren recently and she is a terrific lady.
'When I found out he was going to become a father I was gobsmacked. I never thought there would be room in Simon's life for anyone except the person he loves most in the world - himself.
'But becoming a father has definitely changed him. He is certainly more cuddly.
'I'm sure he and Eric enjoy many cuddles and he's a great dad. I'm very happy for him. I never expected to see him settled down with a baby though.'
And Piers also opened up on Cheryl Cole's return to UK X Factor after Simon unceremoniously dumped her from the US version of the show in 2011.
Back in the UK: Piers returned from New York to spend the summer in the UK and revealed his happiness to be home
Piers told MailOnline: 'I watched X Factor recently and I like having Cheryl back. It's great with her and Mel B and Simon seems to have gotten his mojo back. He probably would have had to grovel. And he treated her so terribly in America that she deserves it.'
While Simon admitted defeat when Strictly Come Dancing beat X Factor in the ratings war when the two shows went head to two weeks ago, with 8.4 million live viewers compared to X Factor's 7.6 million, Piers warned that Simon will be plotting how to ensure it never happens again.
He said: 'He hates losing so I am sure he is in a filthy mood. He's so competitive. He will be plotting his fight back against them. They may have won the battle but I wouldn't count on them winning the war.'
And Piers has no plans to take on Simon's X Factor by competing in Strictly as he told MailOnline he turned down a £150,000 offer to star on its US sister show Dancing With The Stars earlier this year.
Couldn't be happier: Simon and Eric's mother Lauren Silverman couldn't be happier together and Piers gave his pal's lady love his seal of approval
Morgan also spoke of his admiration for reality TV star Kim Kardashian, calling her 'an immensely talented businesswoman'.
He told MailOnline: 'She is a fantastically successful businesswoman. She is one of the smartest women in the world. I like her. She doesn't pretend to be anything she's not. Kim's not Edith Piaf or Beyonce but she's a talented businesswoman. And she is very friendly and sweet.
'Her husband Kanye [West] is definitely much quieter. Not on stage obviously but in person I think he feels he has to maintain his reputation.'
X Factor: Simon Cowell is back and hungry to find next big thing
While he is close pals with Simon and admires Kim, Piers revealed there is one celebrity he will never befriend, his sworn enemy Madonna.
Speaking about their long-running feud, which began when he wrote a scathing review of one of her concerts, Piers said: 'If Madonna showed up at my house with a bottle of champagne and a hug, I would take the champagne and refuse the hug. I just find her so annoying.
'I don't like Madonna. She and I will never see eye to eye. We have irritated each other for too many years.'
Meanwhile Piers revealed the celebrity who has impressed him the most is Jack Nicholson, 77, but the legendary lothario may not be so happy when he hears what Piers had to say about him.
He explained: 'Jack Nicholson just doesn't care about looking fat, getting old, teeth rotting, He doesn't care. He's still on yachts surrounded by nubile young women. That's the way to do it.'
Forced to grovel? Piers revealed it is likely Simon would have grovelled to get Cheryl back on the X Factor UK after dumping her from the US version
Piers recently quit CNN despite their offer for him to do an interview series for them as he wanted more control and so he is now planning to bring his well-received Life Stories to the USA.
He explained: 'I am looking at bringing Life Stories to America. That's something I would like to do. In fact I am planning to go back to America and set up some meetings about it. I definitely think there is a market for it there and I would love to bring it to the US.
'There's also a movie about gun control that I want to make so that will be keeping me busy in the near future too.'
While Piers got a great deal of abuse and threats over Twitter following his campaigning against guns in America, he insisted he is not scared saying: 'The kind who make threats on social media are the least likely to carry it out.'
Piers Morgan was speaking ahead of his appearance on the Clare Balding Show at 10pm on BT Sport 2, Friday 19th September.
Big fan: Piers revealed he is a huge fan of reality TV star Kim Kardashian, calling her a 'talented businesswoman'
Irritating: The former CNN host will not be ending his long-running feud with Madonna, branding her irritating