Simon Cowell was given a £500,000 painting for Christmas.

The music mogul - who runs record label Syco - was treated to an original painting by British graffiti artist Banksy, to replicate one of the 50-year-old TV personality's favourite artworks .

The artist - who is known for his stencil-style public pieces - superimposed Simon's head on a reproduction of Degas' 1874 creation, Rehearsal Of The Ballet On Stage.

A source told the Daily Mirror newspaper: "Record label execs wanted something unique to give Simon. He's a secret art collector and loves Degas - plus he's a huge fan of Banksy. So they got Banksy to mock up one of Degas' most famous works. In the picture, it looks like Simon's deciding whether or not the girl has the 'X Factor'.

"He took one look at it and declared it 'hilarious'."

The 50-year-old 'X Factor' judge's record company has achieved massive profits this year after Syco acts Leona Lewis, Susan Boyle and Alexandra Burke sold millions of LPs worldwide.

Despite Simon's celebrity status, executives at his label had a hard time persuading Banksy to help them out.

The source explained: "Banksy rarely does private commissions so it was a real coup by record label bosses to secure his services. They are very pleased with what he created."

Simon has hung the painting at his luxurious London home, and has already had two prints made up for his houses in Barbados and Los Angeles.