'I think I felt more awkward than he did' - Caroline Flack on replacing Dermot O'Leary on X Factor
Caroline Flack has revealed there was "100%" no awkwardness between her and departing X Factor host Dermot O'Leary when it was announced she landed the plum presenting gig along with Olly Murs.
Flack had presented ITV 2 spin-off show The Xtra-Factor for three years (initially with Murs) while O'Leary presented the main show.
She had also shared an agent with O'Leary for a decade and is close friends with his wife Dee, who was her producer on the International Pepsi Chart Show which Flack presented.
So, replacing Dermot could have been awkward, but Flack insists he was nothing but gracious about her exciting news.
"He’s made it less awkward," she told The Telegraph. "I think I felt more awkward than he did and he’s made it so it doesn’t feel awkward, which is such a lovely thing to do.”
She spoke to Dermot the day he stepped down and reveals, "I think in his head it was time to go. Definitely. I think eight years is a long time to be on a show and to do it so well.”
However, filling Dermot's considerable boots won't be a walk in the park given he has been identified in the role since the show began and was much-loved by viewers.
“I’m really nervous about it. I don’t want to let him down.” she said. “I felt really weird about it because obviously it was Dermot’s job and it’s a big old space to fill - especially with someone like Dermot who’s extremely brilliant at it. He’s just the best at what he does.”
Caroline knows exactly how Dermot feels. She left The Xtra Factor even though she "didn't really want to" because she "knew they were starting to see other people for the job".
Although Caroline and Olly have worked together on X Factor before, they will channel a slightly different presenting style for the main show.
She reveals they will tone down the silliness and focus more on the contestants and their relationship with the judges and the audience at home.
As for who will replace the outgoing Sarah Jane Crawford on The Xtra Factor, producers are still conducting screen tests with stars including our own Brian Dowling and Eoghan McDermott rumoured to be in the running.