Stephen Mulhern channels Simon Cowell to answer the big X Factor 2016 questions

The Britain’s Got More Talent host had warned an absent Cowell he’d be speaking on his behalf, so we grilled him on the latest X Factor news…

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Simon Cowell was absent from today’s Britain’s Got Talent series launch due to commitments in LA, so More Talent host Stephen Mulhern stepped in and kindly said he’d answer any questions on the boss’s behalf. 

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Sadly, he didn’t go the extra mile and dress as Mr Cowell, as a certain Mr Walliams did…

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But he did warn him.

So, first up we asked “Who should be on the X Factor panel this year?” which had Mulhern roaring with laugher.

“I so knew you were going to go there!” he said, before doing a pretty good job of avoiding saying any names (Simon will be proud):

“I think they need to look at the panel on BGT and try and replicate that sort of chemistry. David who can banter with Simon, Alesha who’s the cool judge – who’s done all the sort of singing, rapping and dancing and this, that and the other – and Amanda who’s got the knowledge of musical theatre, she’s done the acting, overall it just works because they’re all in control of their element. More importantly they get on.”

Of course, we had to ask about Cheryl’s departure too. So was Stephen, sorry Simon, surprised to see her quit the show?

“No, I think maybe the time’s right to either freshen it up or maybe go to something we’ve had before that works. I think whatever’s going to happen, the show is going to be fine. And I’m pleased Dermot’s back.”

As for Mulhern himself, he admitted he was somewhat shocked to find himself in the spotlight as a potential new presenter.

“I made a silly joke that I’d already turned it down here last year. I was away in Miami and I get a tweet off of Simon saying ‘Oh Stephen’s being a naughty boy once again’. He’d been asked about it. I was never asked. Would I have done it? The answer is no. Do I think Dermot’s good to come back? Absolutely. And I think it will help the show.”

He was then, in true Cowell style, whisked off for more interviews. Hopefully he kept it up and went and demanded a lemon bath, perhaps some pieces of orange to nibble on – oh, and a shirt that doesn’t button up all the way to the top…

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Britain’s Got Talent returns Saturday at 7:00pm on ITV. Britain’s Got More Talent follows on ITV2 from 8:25pm