Cat Deeley’s former co-star, ex-Big Brother host Brian Dowling, spoke exclusively to Express.co.uk about her possible takeover on the This Morning sofa. Brian, who was once rumoured to be appearing with her himself for the ITV role, shared his experience of first working with Cat way back in 2001, and recalled that she was “great”.
“We worked together for six to seven months when we were on SMTV Live together and that was so much fun,” he enthused. “It was my first ever job in television [after winning the second series of Big Brother in 2001].”
He also credits the show with providing him his first introduction to now husband Arthur Gourounlian, saying he’d likely never have met him if he hadn’t appeared on SMTV. Ironically, he hadn’t been sure about the job at first, apparently quizzing show bosses about whether they were “f*****g crazy” for offering the role.
However, he quickly warmed to it, with the likes of Strictly Come Dancing‘s Tess Daly being “there to hold my hand”. Brian now thinks Cat makes a great This Morning host and says he’d love to join her on the sofa himself, if given an opportunity.
“I’d be a fool to say, ‘Don’t mention my name in that conversation!’ so I’m 100 percent open to it. It’s always nice for your name to be included in [conversations about] iconic shows like these,” he exclaimed. Brian is currently a news presenter over in Ireland, while he and husband Arthur are caring for a young baby, but he believes it would be possible to commute to the UK for an exciting new role.
Meanwhile, Brian also opened up on how he feels the world of television has “changed” over the years, and become more sensitive to the mental health needs of show contestants.
“I was on Big Brother 22 years ago and there still isn’t a day that goes by when people don’t stop me and say they’ve watched me sleep – and that was 22 years ago!” he reflected.
“The way we do TV now has totally changed and there should be a duty of care to people.”
Referring to the tragic death of Love Island host Caroline Flack, he continued: “No-one wants something like that on their hands or their conscience at all.”
He added: “Now, when it comes to mental health and trolling, channels and production companies do have to take it seriously.
“I think those days of madness on television are gone and nowadays it’s a much safer environment.”
Brian also shared his ideal roles, revealing that if he was hosting, he’d choose This Morning with Cat, and that if he returned to the world of reality TV, it would have to be I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here!
Though the Australian jungle has been tough and gruelling for many, he is undeterred, joking: “My friends and family would love to see me cry on that show!”