DERMOT O’LEARY

Al­ways there as a shoul­der to cry on for over­wrought con­tes­tants, pre­sen­ter Dermot ad­mits he is wor­ried about con­tain­ing Rob­bie Wil­liams’ ex­plo­sive en­ergy lev­els...

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What did you think when you heard Ayda, Rob­bie and Louis were join­ing?

Ev­ery judge comes in and brings their own strengths. I’ve been re­ally im­pressed with the new judges. It’s al­ways odd when you lose peo­ple be­cause you get to know them very well. I’m not go­ing to lie, you miss the peo­ple you were with be­fore be­cause you worked with them for so long.

How do the new panel work to­gether?

The in­ter­est­ing thing to watch is the Si­mon and Rob­bie dy­namic be­cause it’s the first time we’ve had two Al­pha males, which is al­ways a worry be­cause you don’t want them to be just clash­ing right from the start. They haven’t been clash­ing at all though be­cause they’ve both got dif­fer­ent skill sets. Rob­bie brings that bril­liant mix of wis­dom and in­san­ity with him. He still de­fers to Si­mon as we all do be­cause he’s the boss, but he’s his own man. For me that’s im­por­tant with all the judges.

What’s it been like watch­ing Rob­bie and Ayda from the side­lines?

The great thing for me is that Ayda scores points off him and Rob­bie just takes it! I think that’s re­ally cool. There’s a real play­ful­ness be­tween them but then there’s so much love be­tween them. They’ll get up and start danc­ing to­gether, some­times it’s like we are in their front room. Be­hind the scenes, what’s been won­der­ful is that ev­ery­one’s kids are there. Eric has been hang­ing out at au­di­tions and Rob­bie and Ayda’s kids have come down too with grand­par­ents and dogs! I know it sounds like a cliché but it has changed the vibe, it feels more like a fam­ily en­vi­ron­ment.

Look­ing to the live shows are you go­ing to em­brace the chaos that Rob­bie and Ayda will bring?

I’m won­der­ing how that’s go­ing to work as well! I’m start­ing to think about it. They will prob­a­bly end up be­ing very naughty, but none of that both­ers me. As long as I know where I’m go­ing then chaos can hap­pen and I’m happy to let it breath.

Do you think they bring the com­pet­i­tive edge out in Si­mon?

The en­vi­ron­ment is play­ful, but I think it’ll be in­ter­est­ing to see how com­pet­i­tive they all get as the show goes on.

Who do you think wants to win the most out of the four?

I’d say right now no one’s that wor­ried, but I think when it kicks in Rob­bie’s ego will! It’ll be a bril­liant achieve­ment for ei­ther Rob­bie or Ayda to win. Louis is not go­ing to just want to be a slouch though is he? Then the boss al­ways wants to win ev­ery­thing.

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