Caroline Flack on the rise of female presenters, X Factor and staying strictly single

Love Island's host may be making matches in Majorca but she isn't in a hurry to find a new partner off screen

Yet this time last year, Flack’s career wasn’t looking so promising. Following three years on Xtra Factor, which she also co-presented with Murs, she announced she was quitting.

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“The producers took me for lunch one day,” she recalls, “and told me they were screen- testing other people for my job, that they were changing the whole thing. They were really nice about it, but I knew I had to leave.

“Yes, I felt really upset, but every career has ups and downs. You have to have a thick skin. And sometimes if you want to have a little cry, you do it on your own, and you get rid of it. Then Strictly came along and it was like, ‘One door shuts, another one opens!’”

When she was paired up with Pasha Kovalev on last year’s show, Flack never dreamt she would go on to win the series. “All I’d ever won before was a disco dance competition when I was 12.” But her boundless energy and enthusiasm, even in the face of the dreaded Dance Off, endeared her to the viewers and she walked off with the Glitterball.

“I actually gave it to my niece to take into school for a show and tell, and she never gave it back,” she frowns when asked where the coveted trophy is displayed. “It’s probably still in her bedroom!”

It’s not the first time she’s been parted from it. “I went with my friends to a random house party in west London after the Strictly final – we stayed until 7am and got so drunk I left my Glitterball there. The next day, I had to go and knock on this man’s door and say, ‘Hi – I think I left my Glitterball in your house…’ But oh my God, I hated Monday. I woke up and it felt like someone had covered me in clingfilm. I couldn’t get out of bed. It was such a grey day.”

Just before the final, Flack broke up with her boyfriend of 18 months – was she prepared for the attention that came with being on the biggest show on TV and the infamous “Curse of Strictly”?

“Oh, I was used to it by then. I don’t think anyone really thought anything was going on between me and Pasha! You’re not at your most attractive during that show… during rehearsals you’re sweaty, smelly, you’ve got bunions, you’re tired and grumpy … it’s not as sexy as people think it is! And anyway, all of that attention’s not that bad.”

Even when all the tabloids want to write about was your fling four years ago with an 18-year-old, the then X Factor hopeful and One Direction superstar Harry Styles? “I just laugh. It’s funny. I’m not mugging a nan in the street, am I!”

So would Flack consider going on Love Island to look for love? “Probably not. I’ll stick to hosting! I don’t think I could let TV come into my actual life. I think I’ll find love somewhere else – not on telly. Although I do see the irony of my love life being zero when I’m hosting a dating show. It’s the loveliest feeling in the world being in love, but it’s equally fulfilling feeling completely happy on your own.”

And what’s not to be happy about in Flack’s world right now? With a stint in sunny Majorca, followed by co-presenting her first network show, she’d barely have time for a boyfriend anyway. And should it all fall through she has a back-up plan – “a cat hotel! I just got a Scottish Fold called Waffle and I’m obsessed with him. I’ve never had a pet. Now I just want to look after other people’s!”

Flack has a way of always landing on her feet, so it will surely never come to that.  

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Caroline Flack is currently hosting Love Island, Saturdays to Thursdays at 9pm on ITV2