Was it a hard decision to return?
I know we came under criticism last year from the press, but none of us have ever given up on anything in our lives, which is why we came back to make it a massive success this year. I’m sure I was the first to sign up! But I wasn’t going to do it if Will wasn’t doing it, and Will wasn’t doing it if I wasn’t doing it.
Why do you think you were criticised?
We got the first few bits right, but when it went to the live shows the problem was that some weeks were too downtempo. It was Saturday-night TV and we had five ballads in a row. I was picking songs that I thought would suit the singers’ voices, but you can do the same with up-tempo songs, which we have all learnt now.
Do you like the format changes?
The new knockout rounds are frightening, because I’ve now got more decisions to make as opposed to leaving it to the public. I get emotionally involved with my team and to have to say goodbye… it’s like having 12 girlfriends and splitting up with half of them one week and another three the next. It’s really hard! I know it’s a cliché, but it really is harder on me than any of them.
Are you good at making instinctive decisions?
I have always gone with my gut. If the hairs on my arms stand up, I know. I’ve gone down the wrong road so many times not trusting my instincts, I know that my instincts are what guide me. Going down the wrong road when your instinct is telling you to go the other way, what is that? It’s obviously a place you shouldn’t be.
Are you a gambling man?
I’ve been gambling with my career for the past 15 years! And I’d bet on me any day. It’s like when I ended up on The Voice and people were saying, “What is he doing on the show?” Most people hadn’t heard of me. I had it all to gain. I knew if they gave me a chance… I got on the show, made a name for myself, got into Will’s dressing room, got him to collaborate on a song… Taking a risk is knocking on someone’s door and saying, “Any chance of you listening to this song?” I am that guy and I love it.
The Voice UK returns on Saturday 30 April at 7:00pm on BBC1