“When peo­ple stop talk­ing about you, it’s over”

No. 1 Magazine - - NEWS -

How do you feel about the judg­ing panel this year?

Me and Louis have a re­la­tion­ship that goes back a long way. Louis’ naughty, the au­di­tions are long days but he makes it much more fun. I was ac­tu­ally think­ing that about all of them ac­tu­ally, it’s like a lit­tle re­union, they are all on great form. Me and Sharon are a bit like Tom and Jerry, but we love each other se­cretly, and Ni­cole is slightly nuts, I love that. Then there’s Der­mot, I missed him so much.

Louis hasn’t been shy about say­ing what he thought about last year’s se­ries...

He loved it! What was so funny was that he used to phone me ev­ery week, I’d get an hour where he would scream down the phone and I’d be like, ‘Well, stop watch­ing. I can’t help it, it’s not my fault if you don’t like it any­more’. But hon­est to god, it was a weekly call! It would start about two in the morn­ing and I’d be like, ‘Oh God, it’s Louis again’. I’d put it on speaker, lie down and lis­ten. But he was pas­sion­ate, he missed the old show and I liked see­ing that side of Louis, some­times he can get a lit­tle bit pas­sive, but this was the Louis I have al­ways known as a man­ager, he’s got a big mouth, he’s out­spo­ken and critical, but that’s what I love about him.

You’ve had a love/hate re­la­tion­ship with Sharon in the past, where are you guys now?

We’re more love/love at the mo­ment. I’ve missed Sharon. I see the ef­fect she has on con­tes­tants when they walk in the room. They love her.

Did she make you sweat over her de­ci­sion to come back?

No, ac­tu­ally it was all done very quickly. Usually this takes for­ever, but we [the pro­duc­ers] sat in a room in Jan­uary and I al­ways say to ev­ery­one, ‘What would you like to do?’, and the funny thing was ev­ery­one said the same thing, ‘This is the panel and we want Der­mot back on the show’, there was no ei­ther or. It was quick, we got on with it and that was that.

Does it make a dif­fer­ence that these three judges chal­lenge you in ways other judges haven’t?

God they re­ally keep me on my toes. I think some of the time they are putting peo­ple through just to wind me up. I’ve kind of got to the point where it doesn’t bother me, I’m used to it. What­ever is go­ing to be, is go­ing to be.

Dur­ing the au­di­tions you’ve been com­par­ing Ni­cole to the An­tiques Road­show, what do you mean by that?

When I watch An­tiques Road­show it al­ways makes me laugh be­cause when some­one’s sit­ting there with the ob­ject all they re­ally care about is how much it’s worth, then you get the ex­pert talk­ing about the his­tory, and I know what they are think­ing, which is, ‘Don’t care about that, how much is it worth?’. Ni­cole’s like that when she’s about to give some­one a yes or a no. All they want at that point is a yes or a no, but she’s go­ing on with more com­ments and guid­ance, when all they’re think­ing is, ‘Give me a yes, give me a yes!’. She doesn’t get that.

Are you proud that the na­tional con­ver­sa­tion is al­ways about The X Fac­tor rather than other shows?

Yeah, it’s like when peo­ple were spec­u­lat­ing whether the show would go off air, that was never even a con­sid­er­a­tion be­cause the show is on air for nearly five months. It al­ways gets high num­bers. You ei­ther love it or hate it but you do talk about it. When peo­ple aren’t talk­ing about you, then it’s over.

“It was never even an op­tion to take the show off air”

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