Simon Cowell, best known as the former acerbic judge of "American Idol," says that after he dies, he wants his body to be cryogenically frozen and to have his money donated to needy "children and animals."
The 51-year-old, who is launching the new singing contest series "The X Factor" this fall, made his comments to GQ magazine in an interview published in its September 2011 issue.
Having his body cryogenically frozen upon death, he said, is "an insurance policy," adding: "If it doesn't work, it doesn't work. If it does work, I'll be happy. If it's possible, and I think it will be, why not have a second crack? Does that sound crazy? I think it's a good idea."
The cryogenic freezing of human bodies has been done before, although it is not yet possible to revive them. About 200 people have undergone the procedure and their remains are held in cold storage at one of two cryonics facilities in the United States.
Robert Ettinger, the founder of the cryonics movement, the Immortalist Society and the Cryonics Institute, died on July 23 at age 92. His body was frozen and is being stored at the facility. The group says it "advocates storage at very low temperatures after death in the hope that future technology will permit revival and the cure of aging and disease."
The remains of baseball star Ted Williams of the Boston Red Sox were cryogenically frozen following his 2002 death. A popular urban legend says the body of Walt Disney was also frozen when he died, although it is untrue.
Cowell is one of the richest television celebrities. He earned more than $90 million last year, when he left "American Idol" after serving as a judge since its 2002 debut, according to Forbes. TV Guide said Cowell is set to earn $75 per season of "The X Factor."
He told GQ he wants to "leave the whole lot to charity." When asked to elaborate, Cowell said: "Children and animals. I like both."
Cowell has no children. He has said he grew up with pets, including dogs, but has none at the moment. The often-cynical television personality has revealed a softer side when confronted with puppies, including on the show "Extra," and has helped animal rights organizations in his native England and in the United States. He appeared in a 2008 public service announcement for the animal rights group PETA that warns against leaving dogs inside a car.
Cowell joked to People magazine earlier this month that he brought former "American Idol" judge Paula Abdul on board to become one of his co-judges on "The X Factor" because it's like "owning a dog."
"The X Factor" is based on a series Cowell judged and developed in the United Kingdom. The new show debuts on FOX on September 21 and will offer its winner a $5 million record deal - which is reportedly the most valuable such prize among all past similar shows.
Check out a promo for "The X Factor" below.