Simon Cowell Gives Shout-Out to Original Co-Host Brian Dunkleman in ‘American Idol’ Tribute

“We had a blast! Me, Paula, Randy, Ryan – and not forgetting Brian,” the former judge says

Simon Cowell gushed — as much as the famously acerbic TV personality can — about his time on Fox’s “American Idol,” which the network announced Monday would end after its upcoming 15th season.

“We had a blast! Me, Paula, Randy, Ryan – and not forgetting Brian,” Cowell told People, name-checking first season co-host, Brian Dunkleman, along with Cowell’s longtime costars Paula Abdul, Randy Jackson and Ryan Seacrest.

“Thanks to the fans we were able to make some great shows and found some amazing artists,” he said. “Fox took a risk on a brand new show, and I want to thank them for giving us the opportunity. They really were great times.”

Cowell, who sat in the judge’s chair at the reality competition show’s launch in 2002, left during its seventh season in 2010 and went on to star in “The X Factor” also on Fox, while rocker Steven Tyler joined the “Idol” judging panel.

Cowell also took to Twitter to comment on his “Idol” time: “Looking back at my time on American Idol we had a great time. We found great artists. Had fun. And to America. Thank you. It was a blast,” he wrote.

Abdul and Dunkleman also commented on the show following the Fox upfronts.

“I left the show at the top,” Abdul said, adding, “after I left, my presence, it felt different. And then a year later Simon left, and it feels different. And many years later Randy left.”

Dunkleman, meanwhile, celebrated: “I knew ‘American Idol’ would never last without me,” the actor and comedian jokingly tweeted.