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Cowell reveals childhood trauma

Music mogul Simon Cowell has revealed how he once had to be helped by firefighters after getting locked in a bathroom as a child.

The X Factor and Britain's Got Talent judge jokingly recalled how he was "terrified" as he climbed down a ladder to safety at the age of 10.

Cowell told the tale as he urged people to nominate unsung heroes who went the extra mile to help others for the Daily Mirror's Pride of Britain Awards 2010.

He said: "I genuinely believe Pride of Britain is the best and most important awards ceremony of the year. It beats the Brits and the Baftas as it's about real people who've done incredibly special things. They always make me proud to be British.

"It always means a lot to them to get this recognition and I tell you what, it's the best leveller in the world for people like me. When you think you've got problems in your life, like your mineral water is not cold enough, you see these awards and it puts everything into perspective."

Categories for this year's awards include: Child/teenager of courage; outstanding bravery; GMTV emergency services, neighbour of the year, plus young fundraiser of the year.

Cowell added: "There are unsung heroes all over the country, in every community, who do their bit, making a positive difference, helping others.

"They all deserve praise and recognition for what they do and so, wherever you live in the UK, if you know a real unsung hero, now is the time to nominate them for a Pride of Britain Award."

The 12th annual awards sponsored by Littlewoods.com are due to be hosted at a glittering ceremony in London by Carol Vorderman in the autumn and televised on ITV1.

For more information, visit: www.prideofbritain.com - nominations close on Friday September 10.

© Press Association