“This time last year I didn’t think I would ever be back”
How did it feel returning to the show?
It feels great, a bit odd to start with. This time last year I didn’t think it would ever happen. I started having drinks in early January with friends who work on the show and people were asking me if I would ever go back, then my agent started asking the same question.
Did you have any reservations about coming back to the show?
To start with, I wasn’t sure. I felt like I had drawn a line in the sand. Then I gave myself some time to think about it and I realised I missed being part of a show that’s part of the national conversation and culture. I certainly still felt an emotional attachment to it.
How did you feel when the show came back and you weren’t on it?
I was lucky that I was working in South Africa for two months while it was on. If I had been in the UK then it would have been slightly weirder. As I was away I was almost shielded from it. Even before Caroline and Olly took the gig I spoke to them and told them they should take the job. I also told them what they should expect when they do take the job, it’s not The Xtra Factor, it comes with a certain pressure and level of focus. I made my peace with it in my head.
You must have sneaked a peek to see how they were doing?
I kept my eye on it! I didn’t make a conscious decision not to watch it but it’s the first time I had my Saturday nights back in years, so I did go out a lot.
Do you think there will be rows between the judges?
Oh yeah because at the moment they are getting on but when they reach the live shows that’s when they start protecting their young. Then it’s like four velociraptors!