Robbie and I are over the moon, the kids are over the moon... it’s really like a bliss bubble right now
the race to overtake rivals and win. “When I was in track and field I would do the 800 metres, which is two laps. I never liked to start in the front, even if I knew I was the fastest,” she says.
“I liked to gauge what was happening then, on the second loop, catch and go.”
Comparing this to The X Factor, Ayda goes on: “I like being the underdog. I like watching the competition ahead then taking them on.
“You’ve got Simon [Cowell] who’s done it for 15 years. Louis [Tomlinson] has been in the process and Rob’s been a pop star for ever. I think
Robbie and Simon are in the lead. I think they’re huffing and puffing. They’ve got their dad run on, arms are flailing.
“And I’m just gonna go all Carl Lewis on it and get the job done.” What about the criticism for her lack of music experience?
“People probably don’t understand the extent of how involved I’ve been in Rob’s career the past 12 years,” Ayda says. “So they might go, ‘Huh? What does she know?’
“But I’ve been intricately involved. Rob used to lovingly refer to me as his dressing-room bitch. But now he’s my dressing-room bitch, let’s just be clear. “But from the point that I came over to the UK, I pretty much gave up my career to be by his side. So I literally have been on every single plane ride to every single city. I’ve done all the promo for every single album. I’ve been there in the studio for every single song.
“I’ve been involved in all the song choices, the preparations, the ideas for the performances. Listen, being married to Rob is a full-time job. It is hard work.”
She is thrilled with the start she has made on The X Factor, and has been warmly received, though Robbie has, unsurprisingly, been getting most of the headlines.
This weekend in the judges’ houses stage, they both hold auditions at home.
Some would worry about getting the over-25s category, but Ayda says: “I’m tired of the pop prince or princess who comes packaged as a Barbie or Ken doll and has perfect hair or teeth and is 16.
“I’m looking for something way more interesting than that. I think the world needs some heroes and entertainers that don’t fit into that category.”
With the live shows approaching, will we see Ayda in a new range of fabulous fashions? “Rob would be furious if I bought a whole new wardrobe,” she says.
“Rob blows out the candles when I leave the room ’cause he doesn’t want to waste the candle. I’m hopefully borrowing a lot of outfits.”
Ayda adds: “I’m nervous about not having him there for some of the shows – he’s my wingman and partner in crime, and it’s really nice having him by my side.
“But, equally, I’m also excited to represent on my own and do my thing and take charge without him there.”
■ The X Factor judges’ houses stage is on Virgin One this weekend at 8.35pm on Saturday and 8pm on Sunday.
JUDGES PANEL With fellow X Factor co-stars Robbie Williams, Simon Cowell and Louis ON A ROLL Ayda Field is relishing life
MARRIAGE With husband Robbie Williams