American Idol judge SIMON COWELL showed his softer side when he heard pal Ryan Seacrest's chat show had been cancelled, by phoning to console him.

Last week (ends30JUL04), it was announced that ON AIR WITH RYAN SEACREST had been culled by bosses, just a handful of months after debuting, due to struggling ratings.

And sharp-tongued music mogul Cowell quickly gave his support to Seacrest, who also hosts American Idol.

Seacrest says of Cowell, "For the first time ever, he wasn't sarcastic! He said, 'I just wanted to check in and see how you are doing.'

'He reminded me that it's just part of the business and that now I can get more rest."

Seacrest is also a radio host.

05/08/2004 02:59