Just Simon Cowell
Rylan and Matt Go Live From The X Factor Studio This Weekend.
The Xtra Factor Live returns to ITV2 this year with a brand new format and a brand new presenting duo.
Radio 1 DJ and TV host Matt Edmondson and X Factor alumni and TV presenter Rylan Clark-Neal are at the helm this year as The Xtra Factor Live goes live from the very first audition show, giving fans the chance to react to each night's episode from the very start of the series.
Matt and Rylan will be joined live in the studio by contestants who have appeared on the main show, getting the lowdown on their audition and getting to know more about them. There will also be live music and a panel of celebrity guests on hand to give their uncensored thoughts and reactions to the night's auditions
How have you been getting on with Simon?
Rylan:He wasn’t on the show my year, it was Gary Barlow. Simon is the big boss, he calls all the shots and makes all the decisions but Simon’s the one person I have never worked with. But, I interviewed him and the previous judges for the last series, before we did the interview he asked me how I had found the first episode. I asked if he wanted me to be honest, which he did, so I said, ‘I’m jealous, I wanted to be doing it myself’. He said, ‘I’ve got respect for you saying that because at least I know you’re honest’, so we’ve got on from then. He shook my hand at the Six Chair Challenge just as he was going on stage and said, ‘Welcome home.’ My knees went funny!
Matt: I don’t find him scary at all, he’s like the most weirdly magnetic person I have ever met. He kind of sits in almost like a zen like state in the judges’ room. He’s doing the telly stuff but at the same time juggling a million other businesses and projects, but he stays so calm. I’m fascinated by him. I feel like I’m David Attenborough and I’ve been given access to a very rare creature in the world. He’s an extraordinary character. When he talks to you it does feel like you are his world, you know it’s a Jedi mind trick but you don’t know how he does it. I don’t know what the secret is but you can’t stop the feeling, it’s like a sun beam that comes over you.
He likes people being naughty though... Matt: Well, this is the thing. I have it with every authority figure I come across in my life, my gut instinct is to take the mickey out of them. I can’t fight that, so that’s what I have been doing with Simon. I’ve got so many questions about his life, which I am fascinated by. Whenever we get a few spare minutes I’m always like, ‘Quickly, tell me about your ridiculous life!’ It’s so fascinating. He’s my favourite judge to go and bother.
What have you found out about him? Matt: He really likes very pedestrian food, beige food. You think that all famous and rich people only eat at swanky restaurants, but he’s all about the Hula Hoops, Colin the Caterpillar cake. His tastes are very corner shop, which is something about him that I like immensely. He’s always got a box of wine gums on the go and things like that.
He loves his cars, did you ever ask him about that?
Matt: Well, I asked him whether he would ever like to go in a self-driving car because I’m obsessed with the idea because I hate driving. He was like, ‘Matt, I have no interest in self-driving cars’, I was like, ‘Why? Imagine getting into a car and you don’t have to drive it’. And he replied, ‘I’ve got a driver!’. So let’s face it, he’s already got the self-driving car.
Any questions out of bounds for Simon? Matt: No not yet! I look so innocent and have such a cheeky naivety about me that I have found I can ask stuff which is probably not OK to ask and get away with it. So far he’s been fine. I’d like to say he’s quite into it. Whenever we go and have our chats he always lets it run on longer than we’ve been permitted. The one thing he’s not a fan of is people playing by the rules, he likes a bit of edge and personality. With me and Rylan doing this show, he’s got two very free spirits. If we’ve got opinions on stu then we’re not going to toe the party line, we will have opinions. The last thing we want to be is just a mouth piece for the show. We are there to represent the fans of the show at home.
Rylan: We will definitely shout him down and put him in his place if we want to. We’ll take on Simon! It’s all about what people are saying at home. The way we want it to be is that we are fans before presenters, that’s what I have done with every job. If someone at home is saying they think Simon’s wrong about something and we agree, then we’ll pull Simon up on it. I’ll call him out on it, and ask him what he has to say for himself. We’re not going to sit there like lap dogs agreeing with him.
Read What Simon Cowell had to say about Rylan and Matt - plus more promo pics
Xtra Factor returns with the first LIVE show on Saturday.