Presenter tells TV Times magazine about his new game show, and why he’s so loved and loathed…

Can you tell us a bit about your new show, High Stakes (Tues, ITV1)?
“For the first time ever in game show history, the host can help the contestants. I am up there with these people who are sweating and I start sweating with them and suddenly the most ridiculously simple questions become the worst things in the world. I am involved. I am not standing back and looking at these people – I am living it with them.

“Plus, I get to rise 50ft through the ground, surrounded by smoke in a tie and a waistcoat. I love it!

What is your specialist subject?
“I am a sports nut. I am in the States at the moment filming The Kyle Show with Fox and ITV and if I didn’t have my iPad to get Sky Sport, I would be at a loss. Sport is my absolute passion and I would love to go on Celebrity Mastermind with golf as my specialist subject.”

How is the American version of The Jeremy Kyle Show coming along?
“We are making 150 shows and we’ve been on air for two weeks. It’s amazing. What the Americans get is that the show provides resolutions, rehab and detox, which no other show has over there. It’s been a really interesting experience, but I never know where I am. I was in New York, Chicago and LA and now I am talking to TV Times in London. It’s been hard for my wife and kids because although they came out for the summer, they are back now because of school and stuff.”

Does that mean you’re looking to quit the UK version of your show?
“To have a daily talk show in America and the UK every single day of the year – I didn’t ever think that was possible. It’s Marmite. People either want me to be Prime Minister or they want me dead. But the fact is, people watch.”