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