Simon Cowell has told how he drinks alcohol to enter a "calm place" and come up with his TV ideas.
The X Factor and Britain's Got Talent boss, 54, said that enjoying a few drinks at "one or two (o'clock) in the morning" helped spark his creativity.
In an interview to promote X Factor musical I Can't Sing!, written by comic Harry Hill, Cowell said that he could not quit smoking.
"Harry trained as a doctor, he doesn't like my theory that although I smoke and drink I take supplements, so I'll be all right," he told the Radio Times.
"If I tried to cut out cigarettes completely, I would have a real problem: too boring. It's the same with drinking."
But the new father added: "I'm pretty good at cutting back when I need to."
He added: "I have this expression, 'You never eat Indian food for breakfast'. I always think there is a time in your day when you can be creative.
"For me, one or two in the morning, couple of vodka and limes, couple of cigarettes, I'm in a calm place: I can think.
"I always say, 'One good idea a year can pay for your next ten years.' And that's all you need to do."
Cowell, who was recently pictured topless while strolling alongside girlfriend Lauren Silverman and their baby boy, Eric, said that he was in good shape.
"Yeah, not too shabby, eh?" he told the magazine.
Previews of The X Factor musical, penned by Hill, have been postponed for the second time in a week with producers citing technical problems.
Cowell joked that I Can't Sing! would have to last longer than the Spice Girls stage show to be considered a success after Viva Forever! ran for seven months and was deemed a flop.
Asked what would count as a success, he joked: "Seven months and a day", before adding: "I'm not au fait with the numbers.
"From day one there was a cloud over that musical. The critics had a field day."
He added: "You've got to be confident in what you do, otherwise you'd be paralysed. I've always thought if I like something then other people will like it."
Cowell told the magazine: "It's bloody risky, but so is making the TV show.
"Every new season you go in with the highest hopes, and sometimes you get a bum year. You wait for those numbers to come in, oh my God it's stressful, and it's a delicious thrill."