While filming the latest series of The X Factor, Simon has been known to bring his one-year-old son Eric with him to work. And while Cheryl Fernandez-Versini was quick to gush about the tot at the time, it seems she wasn't the only one little Eric made an impression on.
Speaking about Simon's mini-me recently, Rita gushed: "He is like a mini Simon, he's the cutest thing. Being around him definitely makes me broody."
The 'Never Let You Down' singer made the admission to The Sun, claiming she instantly wants a baby of her own when she sees one.
"I have that motherly instinct," she continued. "So when I see babies, I'm like, 'aww, I want one.'"
After meeting Eric, it didn't only spark Rita's broodiness, but the starlet soon found herself coming over all protective when it comes to the show's head judge.
Simon may be happily loved-up with Eric's mum and girlfriend Lauren Silverman, but that hasn't stopped a slew of X Factor contestants from turning on the charm while meeting him. And their attempts to woo the 55-year-old haven't gone down too well with Rita.
She added: "There's a limit you have to have, a bit of decorum you need to hold... These judges have started to become really close to me like my family, so I am getting really protective of them. I was like, 'keep your hands off him because he's obviously off the market', I was serious!"
The X Factor is set to return to our screens this weekend (Saturday 29 August) and fans are excited to see Rita on the panel alongside Nick Grimshaw, Cheryl and Simon.
Back in June it was confirmed Rita would be replacing Spice Girl Mel B and since getting started with this year's competition, it seems she has fitted right in. So much so, that Simon believes she has made Cheryl so much happier!
"Cheryl's the happiest I have seen her in years," he said. "She's a completely diﬀerent person this year. She's really enjoying being on this show... and I think that's got a lot to do with Rita."
As for Nick, Simon is already a fan of the Radio 1 DJ. Speaking about his addition to the panel, Simon said recently: "He's like a really friendly dog, really friendly, he always wants to be stroked and be happy."
We can't wait to see them in action!
The X Factor returns this weekend Saturday 29 and Sunday 30 August on ITV.
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