updated 09/02/2013 AT 3:00 PM ET
•originally published 09/02/2013 AT 6:00 PM ET
The fact that Simon Cowell is going to be a dad is really starting to sink in.
The X Factor judge, who’s expecting his first child with girlfriend Lauren Silverman, recently saw a scan of his baby and says, “It is just surreal.”
“You literally see this thing which is now alive moving around,” he says in an interview with The Times of London newspaper. “I feel very paternal right now. So I am very happy.”
Cowell, 53, previously said he wasn’t interested in having kids, but now admits that he’s looking forward to fatherhood – and insists he won’t lose his hard edge, saying, “I can assure you: I won’t go soft.” He looked quite comfortable showing off a onesie with his photo on it that he received while promoting I Can’t Sing – The X Factor Musical in London Monday.