The American Idol judge thinks he can help the troubled star

By Suzy Byrne
Updated January 09, 2008 04:10 PM
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Anthony Harvey/REUTERS/Landov; INF

It’s a New Year – and Simon Cowell has some new advice for an old favorite of his, Britney Spears.

Speaking to PEOPLE on Wednesday afternoon, the American Idol judge says there is still time for the troubled, 26-year-old pop star to get her life and career back on track.

“It’s never too late,” says Cowell, 48, who has shown support for Spears in the past. “I think she’s the most searched artist on the Internet at the moment, so she has a head start.”

As a producer he is also willing to step in and personally lend a hand. “I genuinely think that if I sat down with Britney and, No. 1, remind her of all the good things in her life – which are her kids, her money, her success, everything – I’d try to give her a sense of perspective. And then I’d take her out of where she’s living at the moment and ask her to go and live with her family – and live normally – for six months.”

His rationale, he said, is “because if you live normally and do normal things, you’ll suddenly find that the paparazzi aren’t camped outside your front door every day. Most importantly, just give her a sense of perspective, because it looks to me at the moment that she’s out of control and she needs to have someone in her life who she’s going to listen to.”

Adds Cowell, “She’s welcome to call me anytime.”