Peter Jones has claimed he and Simon Cowell are ‘like surrogate brothers’.

The Dragons Den panellist says he and The X Factor judge became close because they’ve both been through financial crises and fought their way back.

Peter, 43, told Closer magazine: “Simon’s like a surrogate brother to me – we both know what it’s like to lose everything and have to move back in with our parents.

“The only difference is that I’m six years younger and much better looking than him!”

Simon went bankrupt in his 30s while Peter’s first company went bust 14 years ago.

But at 6ft 7in, Peter’s height can be an issue with 5ft 9in Simon.

He revealed: “Simon always wears high heels when he goes out with me. And whenever we take photographs he always makes sure I duck down so it doesn’t look like I’m so much taller than him.”

Peter, who’s been with his fiancee Tara Capp, 34, for 13 years, claims to play matchmaker for Simon, saying: “When girls come on to me, I say, ‘Sorry, I’m taken’ and point them in Simon’s direction instead!”