Matt Edmondson and Rylan Clark-Neal are heading into their new role as Xtra Factor Live hosts with their eyes wide open: “We’ll get sacked next year”.
“Oh, guaranteed,” laughs Matt to RadioTimes.com, the duo taking over the role from Rochelle Humes and Melvin Odoom, who had taken over from Sarah-Jane Crawford the year before, who’d taken over from Caroline Flack and Matt Richardson the year before that…
It’s safe to say it’s not a job linked with longevity.
“It’s got the lifespan of a mayfly, or one ‘flying ant day’, Matt explains. “They’re around for a bit and then they go.”
“We’re fine with that. That’s what happens. That’s the contract,” adds Rylan. “But it’s alright because we’ve got other jobs.”
Indeed, neither of them is taking on the job assuming it’s a done deal for the next few years.
“Without sounding rude, and I don’t mean this to be rude in the slightest way, me and Matt have come to this show because it’s actually something we want to do,” says Rylan, who was himself a contestant in 2012. “We both love the show. I obviously come from the show, Matt’s worked on the show before in previous years [he presented ITV spin-off The F Factor in 2010 after vlogging about the show in 2009] and we both love the show. We’re both fans of the show before I think we’re presenters of the show.
“Without bringing Big Brother into the mix [Rylan hosts Big Brother’s Bit on the Side on Channel 5], that’s what I do at Big Brother and that’s why that works so well. We’re fans before we’re presenters.
“If it’s one year, believe me, we’re not sitting here thinking this is our job for life now, like maybe we would do with Radio 1 [Matt is a regular presenter] and Big Brother and other jobs.
“It’s something we’re looking forward to do, but we’re under no illusions that this is our job. We’re just the two presenters that are doing it this year. If we come back next year, and if we’re asked back next year, then that’s a chat we’ll have next year, if it’s something we want to do and can do.”
Asked whether it would bother boss Simon Cowell that they are approaching it as one year thing, Rylan clarifies, “We’re not thinking we’re just going to do it for a year. But in our minds, we are thinking, it might only be a year.”
Matt adds, “Yeah you can’t really sort of say ‘I can’t book a holiday next October’, because you just never know what’s going to happen. But also I’ve never felt more relaxed about going into a show in my life.”
Last year’s main show presenting team – Olly Murs and Caroline Flack – came under huge amounts of scrutiny, taking over for the first Dermot O’Leary-free year. But Rylan and Matt aren’t worried about opening themselves up to scrutiny.
“We’re not frightened about f***ing it up. We’re not frightened about losing it. Because we’re just literally living in the moment for it,” insists Rylan.
“Like dogs, just living for the day, one day at a time,” Matt interjects.
As for onscreen goofs – Murs saying Monica Michael had been sent home when it was actually ‘deadlock’ was one of the main talking points of the series – they actually welcome them.
“With that thing with Olly, that’s brilliant, it’s the biggest show on TV, if people are talking about it that’s a good thing. People want to go and watch that clip back again. I don’t think he cares one way or another. It’s a great moment where people can come together and say, ‘Did you see that thing that happened yesterday?’”
He admits it’s “more important” on the main show to keep things running smoothly.
“You’re kind of messing with people’s…” he beings before Rylan (a contestant at heart it seems) adds, “lives”.
“Also, there’s a degree of sort of seriousness in terms of the navigation of the show, which we don’t have. Our whole job is just to p*** about. So if something scandalous or controversial happens, bring it on, that’s what we want! Anything that’s going to get people wanting to turn over and watch our show, absolutely delighted to have.”
They know just where to get it, too.
“Anything that’s going to get people wanting to turn over and watch our show, absolutely delighted to have. I’ll be prodding Louis [Louis Walsh who has returned as a judge] with a stick to try and make him say something terrible.”
A plan of attack Rylan is very much on board with.
“You know what? We ain’t got to prod that hard. You ain’t got to prod hard with Louis. You only go, ‘You alright Lou? How are you?’ [And he’ll say] ‘You won’t believe what I’ve heard…’”
The Xtra Factor Live returns to ITV2 at 9.30pm on Saturday 27th August and 9pm on Sunday 28th August