SIMON Cowell wiped away tears of joy after being handed the key to the Las Vegas strip on Saturday night for his hit AGT Live variety show.
Our footage shows Cowell being honoured by Sin City chiefs for his contribution to the party town's entertainment scene with many of his reality shows' contestants enjoying huge success.
The TV and music mogul joked that getting the freedom of the party city weeks after getting engaged was annoying – and that the honor would have meant “more fun” had it been handed out 10 years ago.
Proud Cowell described his honour as “big” and a “thrlll” especially given that the Luxor Theater spectacular has become one of the strip's hottest tickets in just four months
Cowell was joined by close friend and fellow AGT judge Howie Mandel backstage at the venue.
Visibly moved, Cowell joked: “So the year I decide to get married you give me the key to Las Vegas…great timing.
“This is amazing by the way. Thank you so much. I would like to take this chance to say first of all this is amazing.
“I mean the timing wasn’t great. I mean ten years ago would have been a lot more fun, but you know what I am talking about.
“I want to thank MGM because we would not be here without your support and it has been an absolute pleasure.
I get a chance to say thank you to the cast and the crew, because we have worked with them a long time now and I have had the most fun making this show.”
Turning to the cast, he grew emotional saying: “And importantly without you guys we are nothing
“This is the best example of what this show produces..brilliant, brilliant, amazing people and I never get the chance to say it individually.
“So this is my chance now to say sincerely thanks to all of you. You have all been a pleasure to work with. And thank you for coming on the show.
“This is big. So I am so thrilled.”
Comic and fellow AGT judge Mandel threw in gags too at the private ceremony: “What do you do with a key to something that is opening 24/7?”
Waving the key boxes in the air, he joked: “If anybody is ever locked out we have the key."
Then turning serious, he added: “I think this is more mind blowing than the TV show because you are actually here. This is the dream and you earned your right to be here. This is the best show in Vegas.” The Canadian comic thanked Cowell after feeling “lucky” to be hired.
The honour was bestowed on the English creative mastermind in front of AGT Live cast and crew backstage by Clark County Commissioner Michael Naft.
Naft paid tribute to Cowell for “the incredible talent assembled” at the Luxor, which “have really become part of this community.”
The media mogul raised his arms in delight, showing that the cast around his broken left arm has been removed.
Cowell was in great spirits beforehand learning that cast members were “getting on” and speaking to the media about his more than two decade reality TV success.
Another celebration was the 62-year-old having his full left arm cast, put on after he fell from his e-bike in London last month, removed on Thursday.
Smiling he revealed: "I am happy to have it taken off. It was all the way up my arm and it was very difficult to move. I am doing better. The great thing about bones is that they heal.
Do you know what? It could have been a lot worse.
"I feel fine."
He again detailed how he was already back cycling too with a smaller lower hand brace covering the break.
"Yeah I am back on the bike."
Cowell beamed with delight at seeing AGT Live, which features impressive acts from recent series of NBC's hit series, for the first time since it opened last November.
Last summer he described the show , three years in the making, as his "toughest" ever live entertainment challenge.
Cowell spoke of his pride at the strong audience reaction and attendances.
On camera he admitted: "I think with all these things sometimes you have just got to do it.
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"We had been talking about it for a long time and eventually it was like 'do you know what?. I am bored of talking about it..let's just do it.'
"Luckily we had a great partner and they were really enthusiastic about the show and the idea of being here. So it happened really quickly.
"The hard part to be honest is who do you choose to put in the show. That is when it kind of got a little bit tricky. But we have got the right balance."
America’s Got Talent Las Vegas Live, features an extraordinary ensemble of winners, finalists, runner-ups, AGT fan favorites and golden buzzer acts throughout the brand-new, high-energy, variety-style production.
Inside the 1,500-seat Luxor Theater fans gave standing ovations to performers including magician Dustin Tavella, singer Kodi Lee, comedian Preacher Lawson, acrobatic act Duo Transcend and mind readers the Clairvoyants.
Cowell admitted the show was a dream come true after over a decade of Got Talent shows globally.
“Once we put the [TV] show in the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles for the live finals that people could come to, we’ve gotten so many requests for tickets from people coming with their families and having the best time, For me it’s a dream come true. I never ever thought I would have a show on in Vegas."
The production performs Wednesday – Sunday at 7 pm and 9.30 pm inside Luxor Theater.
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