How does it feel to be stepping into the late Bob Monkhouse’s shoes to host a new version of Celebrity Squares?
“Who’d have known, sitting at home when I was a young lad watching Bob on a Saturday night with my nan that I’d one day be hosting it. It’s quite amazing to be here, especially in these studios as they’re iconic for shiny floor gameshows.”
Did you ever expect this to happen?
“That’s the thing about being an actor – you never know which direction things will go. I consider myself fortunate to be working as much as I am, because it’s not a very stable profession. So to have this opportunity now, I don’t know… It baffles me to be honest!”
How are you feeling about your new job?
“I’m feeling all right about tomorrow, I’m excited rather than nervous. I did a pilot last year [which wasn’t screened on TV] and, even though everyone here was delighted, I know for my own personal satisfaction that I need to better that. There’s quite a lot of pressure because at the end of the day, it’s down to me to deliver on the night. You try not to think about that too much, but you can’t help it.”
How did you get to grips with the rules?
“My family and I got a board game of the Bob Monkhouse version off eBay! I mean it’s probably an antique – it even had the Woolworths receipt in it! The celebrities have made-up names, which is really funny. So I’ve been practising my hosting with my kids Annabelle and Harrison as contestants. They love it as it’s such a fun game.”
And we hear there’s also a new round called Square Essentials…
“A celebrity will read a fact about themselves, and the contestants have to decide whether it’s fact or fiction. The squares used to be vertically stacked but they’re now laid at a slant, which is great because it allows interaction between the celebrities.”
Are there any guests that you’re particularly looking forward to having on the show?
“I’m excited about meeting Dame Edna Everage and we’ve got BGT winners Ashley and Pudsey coming on – I think a dog in a square is a first! I’d love to have Brucey [Bruce Forsyth] on one day. To me, he epitomises game shows. If I think about my own style, some of it is a little bit like his – slightly irreverent, slightly self-deprecating almost.”