Sarah-Jane has become pals with Simon Cowell over recent months, talking to the Daily Mail Sarah takes us into Simon’s world.
Sarah-Jane says Simon Cowell is the only one allowed to call her ‘SJ’ because he tags ‘darling’ on the end, she says – is the TV and radio host whose effortless on-screen style impressed him so much he’s branded her television’s hippest new star.
He may have warned her on her first day in the job that ‘the worst thing that could happen is it all goes wrong and you don’t have a career’, but Sarah-Jane’s now firmly in camp Cowell.
On the show Sarah-Jane takes viewers behind the scenes of The X Factor, chatting to the contestants and the increasingly jumpy judges: Cheryl Fernandez-Versini, former Spice Girl Mel B, Louis Walsh and, of course, Cowell himself. Now that The X Factor has reached the live stages, The Xtra Factor goes out live too. But she says she’s ready for it having built up her confidence and firmly bonded with all four judges.
Sarah said ‘Having been abroad to the Judges’ Houses with them I feel like I really know them now. It was brilliant, especially because Simon’s in his element on his home turf in LA. He ups the ante with the cheekiness. He was teasing me. Even though I have a boyfriend [actor Ross Harland] he wanted to set me up with Stevi Ritchie, the madcap contestant who used to whip off his jacket mid-song. He said, “You two should go to a Harvester restaurant together, then I’ll put you up in a Premier Inn.” He finds that funny.’
Although she didn’t get to stay at Cowell’s palatial LA home, she did get the full tour. ‘We got to hang out there before we all went to a One Direction concert. It’s exactly how it looks on TV – all minimal with black toilet rolls.
'He loves his dogs Squiddly and Diddly so much they’ve even got their own swimming pool full of mineral water where they do their back strokes. Simon was so relaxed – bare feet, shirt unbuttoned even lower down than usual. At one point I saw him in a tracksuit, which was the weirdest thing,’ she giggles.
She’s grown close enough to the Cowell clan to have babysat his eight-month-old baby Eric and changed his nappy when Simon’s partner Lauren Silverman was ill. She also enjoyed a day out shopping with Lauren, Eric and Sinitta. ‘It was nice to see Simon happy and around people he knows so well. It brought out the best in him.’
‘Louis’s great fun too, but Simon’s the teaser – once he knows something makes you blush, he goes for the kill and doesn’t let it go. We’ve become like a little family on the show.’ Surely there’s some rivalry? ‘At the moment it’s all friendly banter but it’ll get serious as the live shows go on.’