Dermot O’Leary has confessed he has been a space geek ever since he was a child.
The X Factor presenter is set to host a live show from Mission Control in Houston, Texas as part of Channel 4’s Live From Space Season. During the broadcast, viewers will have the chance to interact with the astronauts on board the International Space Station (ISS) as they share incredible views of the planet as it completes a 90-minute orbit of Earth.
Dermot, 40, confessed: “I can remember watching [Space Shuttle] Challenger going up when I was at school.
“Live From Space is such a mega and amazing programme to be part of. I’m so looking forward to presenting it. Going live with a TV show is always great but to be able to say, ‘Now we’re going live to the space station’, will be a fantastic experience.”
And though he is used to hosting live television, Dermot admitted he can’t help wondering what will happen if something goes wrong.
“My fascination for this programme is two-fold,” he revealed. “Aside from the live link-up and how brilliant that will be, there is that macabre thing where you wonder what you would do if something goes wrong. How do they deal with it? Then there are the ordinary, daily things, like how do they shave up there?”
Dermot has already made contact with astronauts Rick Mastracchio and Koichi Wakata, who’ll be taking part in the show. Last month he joined the production team on the roof of a London building to watch the ISS go over.
“We emailed them to say we would be watching,” he said. “I was like, ‘Wow – we really are looking at something that’s 250 miles away, which is also looking at us!’ It’s so interesting.”
For the past 20 months, Channel 4 has also been working closely with Nasa to produce two documentaries; Astronauts: Live In Space and Astronauts: Houston We Have A Problem, to give audiences a rare glimpse into the day-to-day lives of astronauts on the ISS, currently orbiting Earth.
The Live From Space Season begins on Channel 4 on Wednesday, March 12.