The job of a talent show host can be a hard one. After befriending the show hopefuls laying out their dreams and aspirations in front of millions of viewers, it comes down to the host to mop up the tears and console them when those dreams are shattered.
Holly Willoughby, who has jumped reality show ships from ITV's Dancing On Ice to front the BBC's new big-budget singing contest The Voice, is no stranger to playing the counsellor, yet she says there have been far fewer tears from the contestants on this one…
"It's a bit different for me because there's not much scooping up to be done," she says.
She adds: "When the artist comes off stage they tend to be fine. Even when the audition doesn't end up with them in the competition, they are given such great feedback from the coaches they seem ok… they learn so much when they come off set that they are kind of elated.
"Obviously there are people who are going to be disappointed, but there are more happy tears than sad tears. The hardest thing is being with the families because they want it so much for their loved ones and they are powerless to do anything about it."
In fact, Willoughby confesses most of the tears come from her: "I pretty much spend most of my life in tears."
For the This Morning presenter, joining The Voice was no easy decision. She explains she "watched clips on YouTube as it was on America" and loved it straight away, but quitting Dancing On Ice was difficult, mainly for one silver-haired reason…
"One of the hardest things of moving was leaving Phil [Schofield, who co-hosted DOI]. If I wasn't still getting my Phil fix of a morning, I don't know what I'd do."
Willoughby has a new co-host now, in the form of Radio 1 DJ Reggie Yates.
He describes his job on The Voice as "being backstage with the nans", who he admits to falling in love with.
Yates has also witnessed "shed loads of tears" since starting on The Voice, but backs up Willoughby's claim that they don't come from the contestants.
Instead he points the finger at the show's coaches - Will.i.am, Jessie J, Tom Jones and Danny O'Donoghue, saying: "You've got four coaches who genuinely believe in good musicians so if they're moved they respond to that."
Yates is obviously proud to be part of the show and rebuffs any suggestion that it's a move away from a credible job covering the music industry for him.
"Everyone who says they don't watch TV talent shows is a liar. You only have to look at the coaches, this isn't a joke. It's very serious and you've got people who are credible. Sir Tom Jones - he's sold over 100m records… anyone who's got any criticisms won't have them after they've seen the first episode."
The Voice starts on BBC One, 7pm, Saturday 24th March.
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