Simon Cowell has shared some secrets to his success during a question and answer session at the Brit School where he surprised students with a visit.
"Enjoy this time," the music mogul said. "The getting there is the most fun of this job."
Earlier in the session the X Factor judge recounted his early career and said his beginnings in the industry saw him doing everything himself.
"It was the best education I ever had," he said.
The first part of Cowell's visit saw him going on a tour around the school with its principal, Stuart Worden.
Among the classes he visited were a dance class, computer class and a recording studio. He watched two students performing in the studio, and congratulated them after their session, saying: "That was great."
The two students - Dayo Bello and Rehaim West - who are both studying music at the Brit School - were ecstatic.
"It was a little nerve wracking," said 17-year-old Rehaim, who is from East Dulwich.
During a visit to a set design class, Cowell took time to speak to the students.
"It's quite nice to see he's interested in stuff like set design, not just people on stage," said 17-year-old Rachel Chrystie, from south Croydon.
Cowell visited the school and Nordoff Robbins facility in the grounds ahead of being honoured at this year's Music Industry Trust Awards (MITS), which is held to raise money for the school and the music therapy charity.
The school is the UK's leading performing arts and technology state school and previous alumni include Adele, Jessie J, Leona Lewis and the late Amy Winehouse to name but a few.
Cowell is being presented with his award at a ceremony to be held in November Previous stars who have been honoured include Sir Tom Jones, Sir Elton John, Kylie Minogue and Gary Barlow.