Simon Cowell grew emotional as he discussed the "hardest thing that ever happened" to him.

The 64-year-old music mogul lost his dad Eric in 1999 and his mum Julie passed away 16 years later, in 2015, and he's admitted only believing their "presence" is still with him has got him through his grief.

Speaking on the 'Diary of a CEO' podcast, he said: "Having gone through – which was, now question, losing both my parents was the hardest thing that ever happened to me.

"I can sit here honestly – everyone says, when you lose them, in time it’ll get better. You think,'No it won’t'.

"The truth is, it does, as long as you believe, and you have to believe that their presence is still there with you.

He then teared up and said: "And erm, oh gosh… you have to give me a minute."

The 'Britain's Got Talent' judge admitted he was "desperately unhappy" in the wake of his father's death but credits the birth of his and partner Lauren Silverman's son, also named Eric, in 2014 for "saving" him.

He said: "I’ve really, really enjoyed every successful moment of my career, even when things haven’t gone quite to plan, there’s still a story or something to learn from it.

"That combined journey versus the devastation when you lose someone, it really is meaningless.

"Everything meant nothing at that point, I was desperately unhappy...

"Without question [my son Eric saved me]. I really really had reached the point where nothing matters. I almost can’t even remember everything from that period. It hit me so hard.

"The hardest thing was being on television as well, because I’m like, I feel like a clown. I’m dying inside, and yet I’ve still got to do what i’m being paid to do as best as I could.

"But I put on a tonne of weight, I was eating just junk. Had I got hit by a bus the following day – I’d be dead, but I wasn’t worried about anything like that."

Simon noted he still "suffers from depression at times" stressed he never considered ending his life, but it "wouldn't have bothered" him if anything happened to him.

The 'X Factor' boss has seen how things "come full circle" as his love for his son echoes the bond he had with his own parents.

He said: "It’s how I feel for Eric, just that pure love. They just want the best for you and in return, you feel the same about them.

"It’s how I feel about Eric. Everything starts to come full circle."