New Big Brother host Brian Dowling has claimed that he beat Cheryl Cole and Dannii Minogue to the presenting job on Channel 5. Speaking ahead of the show's launch next week, Brian joked that the Geordie singer couldn't walk and talk as well as him!
A source said in March that bosses hoped that former X Factor judge Cheryl would make the show bigger than ever before. "As part of that deal we want to get a really big name involved as the host and they don’t come any bigger than Cheryl," they said.
And Brian reckons that both Chezza and her former X Factor pal Dannii Minogue were in the running.
"Someone said I was last choice which was not true!" he told TellyMix. "This started for me in around April. I knew it was coming back in February but for me it started in April, they said they wanted me on board but were not sure in what capacity.
"They just knew they wanted me involved in some way. I didn’t think I was going to get the main show!"
Asked what other names were in the running, Brian didn't mention Bit On The Side host Emma Willis, but rather named Cheryl Cole and Dannii Minogue.
He continued: "I was going 'Oh god! Cheryl Cole! That bitch has taken my job!' and then they said it wasn't going to be her and I was like 'Yes!'... but then she got fired from American X Factor I was like 'Oh no, poor Cheryl!'"
Brian jokingly boasted that Cheryl had failed to walk and talk as well as him on the screen test.
He told us: "They said I’d done the best screen test… they told me on my screen test I’m very good at talking and walking, which I can do really well. Obviously someone else they tested wasn’t very good at talking and walking… Cheryl!"
Brian added: "So I’m very good at talking and walking which is really random."
Celebrity Big Brother 2011 starts on August 18.