One Direction presented Simon Cowell with the Music Industry Trusts Award at a ceremony packed with performances and tributes from famous friends at the Grosvenor hotel in London.
Simon, was honoured with the 24th MITS Award in recognition of his contribution to the music and entertainment industry, as well as charitable causes.
After being called to the stage by the boy band, Simon joked: "Just by luck I get the award I've been wanting all my life and I'm completely hammered. Guys, who misses Zayn?"
As the audience broke out in laughter he added: "We all get old but I've still got charisma."
“Watching that film when I was dressed as a dog, doing a stupid record called Wonder Dog… I walked into the record shop dressed as a dog to do a signing and nobody turned up. I thought it would never get any worse than this."
File image of Simon Cowell dressed as Wonder Dog
“To go from there to tonight has taken a while but the one thing, apart from the hits and a bit of money which has been good, what’s been great about tonight is seeing so many friends over the years. Along the way we’ve had so much fun, I cannot tell you."
“If someone had told me at 16 I could have a job where I could get up at 2pm, make records, TV shows, work with people like these guys, and every Monday morning I wake up excited. It’s been a long journey but I have made tremendous friends."
"Pete Waterman, you saved my life by allowing me to follow you like a dog for two years and teach me how important songs are."
“I want to pay a special mention to the man who has made my TV career last 14 years, he’s not here, but the person who invented Botox. You have no idea how much money you’ve made me. I love you whoever you are."
“When I got told I was going to be a father, I gulped, then thought you know what, this is going to be the best thing that’s ever happened in my life and it is the best thing. I have a little boy who I hope will be standing here in about 32 years time as I am being wheeled into The Grosvenor. And obviously none of us would be here without our mums and dads. I lost my mum earlier this year and I’d like to dedicate everything I’ve been able to achieve to [my parents."
“Thank you for showing me the music business is a very nice business. One final thing, I want to thank Sonny Takhar for standing by me for so many years and I’m happy to announce we’ve just renewed a six-year deal with Sony.”
Sonny Takhar returned the compliment saying Simon was a “brilliant A&R man… an exceptional promo person."
"He has the curiosity of an exec that’s just started”.He added: “What people forget about you is that your first love has always been music above everything else. You’re a brilliant record man and on a personal level, I’ve learnt so much from you and I’ll always be so grateful.”
Watch Simon Cowell accept the MITA award from One Direction
Simon also dedicated the award to his late father and to his mother, who died earlier this year.
On his 20-month-old son Eric, he said: "I hope he will be standing here in 23 years time as I'm being wheeled into the Grosvenor House Hotel on my second pack of cigarettes."
Earlier on the red carpet Simon spoke to the media. "I said to everyone organising it, I don't want to know anything. I like surprises. Hopefully they're good surprises."
Talking about the music industry, he said: "It's such a tough business, this, I'm not going to lie. When I first started, it feels like yesterday - if I'd have known at my age I was still happy, still getting a few hits, that would have been enough."
Talking about X Factor and the disappointing viewers figures, Simon said You never take a show off that's getting 10 million viewers. It would be pointless. You've got to understand, the way we watch TV now is so different.'
"We had 6.5 million a week ago - rounded up, it's nearly 10 million. That's how many people watch the show every week."