Tonight's Britain's Got Talent semi-finalists!

But he has proved he has a heart of gold underneath his tough exterior.

The TV and music mogul was touched by 15-year-old scoliosis sufferer Julia Carlile's story after meeting her on his hit show Britain's Got Talent.

Think you have see all the talent in Britain, you are wrong.

However, while the surgery that inserts metal rods into her spine would stop her dancing, there is an operation in America called tethering surgery that costs $100,000 (£78,000) which would allow her to continue.

Julia is competing on the show as part of the dance group MerseyGirls, with sister Alice, 17 and friends, Annie Winstanley, 17, Becky Jordan, 16, and Poppy Gerrard, 15, and had vowed to use some of the £250,000 prize to fund her surgery if they won.

Now, Simon has said that he will pay for it even if the girls don't win. "And just seeing how you all come together with this handsome friendship that you've got, and when you're passionate about something, I could not imagine not being able to do that again".

It's no surprise to learn that it can get a bit balmy in the Britain's Got Talent studio - especially given the recent hot weather.

"You get my point", Cowell continued as the audience booed.

"I really didn't think I would get this far so it has all come as a surprise and is something of a whirlwind".

He added: "You create a connection, and I think with us, in this particular case, I think there is something we can do".

"I have so much admiration for you girls right now, I cant tell you", the judge said.

She told The Mirror: "I knew we couldn't afford it".

Pianist Tokio Myers is tipped at 5/2 for victory, with former long-term front runners the Missing People Choir left to settle for third place at 5/1.

Joining the groip in the final of this year's show is David Walliams' golden buzzer act Kyle Tomlinson - who wowed the crowd, the judges, and the viewers at home with his passionate rendition of Adele's When We Were Young in the first live semi-final.

  • Carolyn Briggs