Sunday 17 November 2019

Jessica Ennis and Mo Farah to mentor on X Factor first live show?

Jessica Ennis
Jessica Ennis
Mo Farah
Jessica Ennis

GOLD medal-winning Olympian Jessica Ennis said today she would be happy to be a guest mentor on The X Factor.

She said she would "definitely" like to appear after it emerged show bosses are sounding out Team GB stars to appear on the programme.

However, she and some of her fellow medal-winning colleagues said they were yet to have any formal approaches about an appearance on the show which took a ratings hit for its launch on Saturday night.

The first programme was more than two million viewers down on the start of the ITV1 series last year.

Show bosses are keen to acknowledge the UK's sporting success at London 2012 during the first live edition of the series and are said to have approached double gold winner Mo Farah for a role.

Cyclists Sir Chris Hoy and Bradley Wiggins, together with heptathlete Ennis, are among those who producers are aiming to get on the show.

But Sir Chris said today that it was the first he had heard of any such plans. In a message on Twitter, accompanied by the hashtag dontbelievethehype, he said: "Some amusing stories in press about me being a mentor on X-Factor. That's the first I've heard about it."

And men's time trial gold medallist Wiggins was dismissive when asked about the programme.

The Tour De France winner said: "Let's not talk about the X Factor. Compared to the Olympics, everywhere you went the country was on a high, and as athletes it was phenomenal to see that, then you see X Factor and it's like, 'Oh God, everyone's got to put up with that all winter now'."

However Ennis was more amenable to the idea, even though she too said she received no approaches.

Speaking on ITV1's Daybreak today, she said: "This is definitely news to me but it sounds like a brilliant idea. I'm a massive fan of X Factor so we'll see."

Asked whether she would appear, she said: "Well yes, definitely, I think it's a great idea, yes.

"Obviously before the Olympics I was just training so hard and making sure that I didn't miss anything so I had to turn a lot of things down and say no to things that I would loved to have done at the time.

"And now I can just relax now that I've got this medal and I can enjoy myself a bit now."

A show source said the idea is for the medal heroes to give pep talks to contestants in the week leading up to the first live show, and they will also be invited to attend the heat.

For the programme the hopefuls will be performing songs with a sporting or winning theme such as Spandau Ballet's Gold, Survivor's Eye Of The Tiger and David Bowie's Heroes.

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