Charles Saatchi as Simon Cowell?

Will Judge 'Saatchi's Best of British' in U.K.

By Published on .

The reclusive Charles Saatchi has set himself up as the new Simon Cowell: He is the chief judge in an "American Idol"-style search for new artists called "Saatchi's Best of British."

Saatchi, who discovered a whole generation of young British artists including Damien Hirst and Tracey Emin, never attends his own openings and usually leaves his wife, glamorous TV chef and domestic goddess Nigella Lawson, to hog the limelight.

This time, though, Saatchi will be at the center of the BBC series, although his presence will be somewhat enigmatic. He will be filmed judging the work but will not be heard speaking.

The winner will have an exhibition in the Hermitage museum in St Petersburg and in Saatchi's own London gallery, which in 2008 broke the record for the most visitors to a contemporary art exhibition in London.

At least Saatchi will be looking trim for the show, having recently lost 55 pounds by eating eggs for breakfast, lunch and dinner over a period of 10 months.

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