“I’m not sure if the public wanted me back”
How does it feel to be back on the show?
It feels really right to be back at this time, it feels good. Simon said he wanted the show to be back to the way it was, small audition rooms, he wanted everyone to have fun. We want to take it seriously but at the same time enjoy what we’re doing and have fun on camera and off air too.
Did you have any reservations about coming back?
I didn’t have any reservations about doing the show but just about coming back to England and whether people really wanted me here or not. I just wondered whether it’s really right, whether I am wanted by the public, not by Simon or the network. I have not seen the show while I have been away, so I am coming back to it with fresh eyes.
You have always had a love/hate relationship with Simon, how are you two getting on?
It’s been really great. It’s been better than I thought it would have ever been, really. It’s been 13 years, that’s a long time since the beginning of this show. It’s great to see how we’ve all changed, but changed for the better.
How has Simon changed since you last worked with him?
For me he’s back to the Simon who laughs a lot. He’s got a very naughty sense of humour, he’s so funny. He’s not so uptight about everything. You know, I get it, he’s got huge responsibilities, it’s his show, his production company, everything, so he’s got huge responsibilities. But I think because we’re 13 years down the line, he’s much more relaxed about it, which is nice, for him and for us! Fatherhood has changed him in a really nice, cool, way. He’s a really cool guy.
Can fans still expect you two to fight?
Yeah of course, because I am older than him! I can tell him what to do, he can’t take that off others. He’s had some gorgeous women on the panel but no one has been in that position where they are older and can say, ‘No!’. He accepts it from me.
Is part of the success of this panel that you’re all not afraid to stand up to Simon?
I think so, you’ve got the three of us back together and then Nicole, she’s always been a friend of mine. Simon’s worked with her in America, Louis’ worked with her, so she’s an old friend to everyone. It really works.