'People wanted to recce the first series' - Lucy Kennedy reveals double the number applied for Ireland's Got Talent this year
Music mogul Simon Cowell has left nothing to chance with the production of Ireland's Got Talent, with the Irish crew being trained by the best of his team ahead of the series.
Presenter Lucy Kennedy will take up hosting duties again for the second season of the show when it returns in early February.
Speaking to the Herald, she revealed that the programme followed a "Got Talent bible" to ensure that everything goes all right on the night.
While X-Factor judge Cowell - who created the show - didn't travel to Ireland himself to watch over proceedings, Lucy said his Got Talent team were on hand ahead of shooting the series to help them hit the right notes.
She also said the number of contestants auditioning in the Helix had doubled this year after the success of the 2018 series.
"I think people kind of wanted to recce the first series because you think, 'Talent show? Ireland? Could be revolting'," she said.
"And I think people were quite surprised with the production values and the fact that it is Britain's Got Talent in Ireland, same format, same team.
"Simon Cowell's people came over and trained us so I think it is bigger and better.
"His right-hand woman Lisa was showing me clips of Ant and Dec.
"I was trying not to faint - I've been superfans of theirs for years.
"There is a Got Talent bible. Each country has got talent so it's a format guide so I think a lot of people were surprised it's a proper Got Talent show - Ireland's Got Talent.
"So with that, more people applied, so double the applications, more variety."
Lucy added that this year saw a surge in the number of singers trying out for the talent show.
"The only thing we are missing is an animal. But I think overall it's just better and we've all upped our game slightly," she said.
The Virgin Media star will also appear on TV screens for the remaining five episodes of Living With Lucy - although she is still waiting to find out who will own the fifth celebrity home she lives in.
Lucy said she expected the programmes to air when Ireland's Got Talent wraps up.