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Russell Grant’s shock X Factor job offer

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    Posted: 21 Nov 2011 at 11:00
Russell Grant’s shock X Factor job offer

STRICTLY star Russell Grant has revealed how his popularity on the dance show left its reality rival The X Factor desperate to hire him as a guest judge.

The larger-than-life character, who was seen by more than 12million people being fired from a cannon on Saturday, said the ITV1 singing show's bosses made overtures to him to switch sides.

But flattered Russell turned them down because he was determined to stick with Strictly to the end.

The former breakfast telly psychic, who was voted off the BBC1 dance hit last night, said his musical theatre background would have made him a perfect guest judge on The X Factor.

Russell, 60, has been signed to appear on Strictly's final at Blackpool with some of the show's other axed acts.

He said: "About four weeks ago I got a call from someone. I won't name names. But basically they said if you get voted out before the final, will you come and be a guest just for one of the shows?

"It would have been my forte. Because of my background in musical theatre, the presentation of the song is my thing.

"I said, 'Thank you ever so much but I'm with Strictly until Blackpool because we all go to the final.' "

Astrologist Russell, who found fame on breakfast TV in the Eighties, said it was probably a wise decision for ITV's ailing morning show Daybreak to ditch Adrian Chiles, 44, and Christine Bleakley, 32. The pair, who had been poached from BBC1's evening magazine programme The One Show, have been sacked after poor ratings.

Russell — who has worked with daytime legends Richard and Judy — said Adrian and Christine's chemistry didn't work in a morning slot.

He told TV Biz: "Your heart goes out to people like Adrian and Christine because when you do a seven o'clock in the evening show on BBC1 it's a very different dynamic from doing a 7am show on another channel."

He added: "The thing you need is to have a great mix. It needs to have a bit of gravitas but it also needs to have that lightness and brightness." Russell added that when thinking of chemistry, stars such as Anne Diamond and Nick Owen of Good Morning with Anne and Nick, and Breakfast Time hosts Frank Bough and Selina Scott sprung to mind.

"It's just a different feel from 7pm to 7am," he stressed.

Fortune-teller Russell said he knew it was his time to go before Saturday's live Strictly show had even finished.

Russell, who was partnered with dancer Flavia Cacace, landed in the bottom two with Aussie soap star Holly Valance after the judges' scores were combined with public votes.

Russell said: "There was a moment where Bruce just stops me with his hands and says, 'You are a star'. And I looked at him, and it's not really the done thing to hug Sir Bruce Forsyth in the middle of a live show, but I knew I was going then. I hugged him and that was my closure.

"When I got backstage and Holly was in the bottom two I said, 'Holly, don't you worry about a thing, darling. I'm off.' And I said, 'I'm glad. I can go and get my knee done, do the final at Blackpool, have a ball with everybody, do panto and the offers that have been coming in have been unbelievable.'

"In the end if you haven't got the judges' scores with you, the public can only do so much. And the public got me to my final — I never even thought I'd make Wembley and the fact I did was just awesome. It was the night of my television life."

Russell joked his own bad memory was the song played as he left following last night's pre-recorded results show.

The track — Simple Minds' Don't You (Forget About Me) — wasn't lively enough for him.

He said: "The worst thing about last night was the terrible dreary dirge that was playing when we had to do the goodbyes.

"I still don't know what the hell it was. But I wish they'd have had something decent like an Abba number."

When contacted, an X Factor spokesperson said: "This is complete nonsense. We have no idea what he's talking about."


Edited by James - 21 Nov 2011 at 11:00
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