Media mogul Simon Cowell has revealed he pretended to hold up a bus in Radlett with a toy gun when he was young.

Speaking this week on US talk show Jimmy Kimmel Live, the 51-year-old X Factor boss recalled the childhood prank that landed him in trouble with the police.

When asked what he was like as a child, the talent judge said: “I was so obnoxious and so badly behaved. I suppose the naughtiest thing I did when I was about 12.

“We had these pea guns, and I was living in England in a place called Radlett and I wanted to go to Watford, which was ten miles away.

"So I got on this bus - and as a joke, it was a joke, I put the gun to the driver's head and I said ‘take me to Watford.’

"And I remember thinking 'God, he's really playing the part here because we're not stopping.’”

Cowell revealed that several police cars were waiting for the bus when it arrived in Watford town centre, and that he and a friend were taken away by officers.

He added: “We were thrown in these cells and eventually this policeman came in and said, 'where did you get the guns?' And I said, ‘a toy shop, they're pea guns.’

“My mum and dad came in and my mum was actually worse than the police...she was furious with me.”