“That question always makes me laugh,” says Vernon. “When someone says to you, ‘Would you like to co-host the most successful show on British television at the moment?’, who’s going to say no?
“What idiot is going to turn around and say, ‘You know what, I do not want to host a Saturday night BBC primetime show that averages 11.5million viewers a week’. ”
It must be an enticing proposition for Vernon and Tess. They have already shared the screen several times, including co-presenting the BBC’s celebrity sing-off Just The Two Of Us seven years ago.
“It would be great to work with Tess again,” Vernon told the Mirror newspaper. “It’s such a good laugh – the relationship on screen is exactly the same as it is at home.
“She is meticulous when it comes to detail, whereas I like ad-libbing around the script. I don’t necessarily learn it word for word, so Tess keeps me in check. If someone offered us something together, we wouldn’t turn it down.
“It’s like Brucie said, you never turn down a hit. Whoever gets the Strictly role is very lucky, but you can be sure they will be the right person. I don’t think the Beeb will make the mistake of giving that job to someone who doesn’t fit into the Strictly Come Dancing family.”
The hot favourite is Claudia Winkleman, who presented Strictly spin-off It Takes Two before graduating to host the Sunday results show and standing in for Bruce.
Flamboyant judge Bruno Tonioli has already named Claudia as his preferred choice. And as much as Vernon might fancy the position himself, he admits Claudia would do a fantastic job if she got it.
“Claudia’s already known for being on the show. She’s familiar with the viewers and she and Tess have a great relationship,” Vernon says.
“They are like mischievous schoolgirls. It’s not just on-screen – that’s what they are like in real life, too.
“When those two get together the fellas take a back seat. It would be pretty phenomenal to have such a successful show presented by two women as well. I doff my cap to the Beeb if they choose to do that.”
The job is currently still open, though, with Torchwood star John Barrowman, comedian/presenter Graham Norton, DIY SOS host Nick Knowles and Strictly dancer Anton Du Beke, also reportedly being considered.
Away from all the Strictly speculation Vernon is looking forward to his 40th birthday on April 28, though he has no idea what Tess has in store for him.
They prefer surprises.
It’s a landmark birthday that strikes dread into many, but Vernon says his big day will be a cause for celebration.
“I’ve never seen it as getting old – I see it as experience,” he says. “Life is about experiencing different things, enjoying yourself and doing things that test you.
“Besides, there’s one way I’ll know when I’m getting old – bath taps. I remember sitting around with my uni flatmates agreeing that you know you’re getting old when you buy bath taps.
“That’s one of those pivotal points in your life, when you know you are mature, you have a mortgage and you have responsibility.”
So do Vernon and Tess spend Saturday afternoons sizing up fixtures and fittings in hardware stores? Vernon laughs.
“No, I still feel like I’m in my prime,” he says. “I still love going clubbing, I still like dance music, following my favourite DJs like Pete Tong, and I still like playing American football.”
In fact, that’s a big part of his life. Last season he was in the London Warriors team that won the Brit Bowl final.
“I love it,” he says. “The average age is 23 or 24. There’s just me and one other guy pushing 40. It’s great to be able to compete with those guys because we have some fantastic athletes.
“They do call me Uncle Vern, but they see I compete and get stuck in as much as they do and I think they respect me, too.”
He also hosts the American Football Show for Channel 4, which has given him a few memorable moments.
He says: They do things differently over there. They open up the locker room to the media five minutes after the game and I found myself interviewing this guy standing there stark naked.
“I did the classic English thing, all coy and prudish, looking at the ceiling. It was so funny. He just said, ‘Make sure you shoot me from the belly-button up’.”
Vernon says his daughters, Phoebe and Amber, keep him fit, too.
“The kids keep us on our toes,” he says. “I love going out, taking them to the theatre and watching them at ballet.
“Tess and I try to juggle our schedules around them because we are both really hands-on as parents.
“We don’t have a nanny and we try to keep them out of the limelight. We both had proper Northern upbringings and that’s what we want to give our kids – albeit with their Queen’s English accents.”
Even if he doesn’t land the Strictly job, Vernon is in line to follow in Bruce Forsyth’s footsteps by reviving his classic game show Play Your Cards Right. The project is still on the table despite a few reported difficulties.
“That show is flawless,” says Vernon. “It’s like Family Fortunes – and that’s why people still love them.
“Bruce is phenomenal. He is the best of the best at that kind of show. So who’s the first person you ring for advice? The man himself.
“I sent him a copy of the pilot and he loved it. How can you top that? To get the thumbs-up from the man himself – it’s like being knighted.”
A new series of Strictly Come Dancing will air on BBC1 later this year.