Life according to… Host of new ITV gameshow In For A Penny Stephen Mulhern

© ITVStephen Mulhern
Stephen Mulhern

Stephen Mulhern, host of ITV’s In For A Penny, answers our questions…

How did In For A Penny become a series after being just a short segment on Saturday Night Takeaway?

Because of the reaction it got from the public and TV bosses alike. Despite the fact we were only on screen for a few minutes a handful of times during Takeaway, I had hundreds of people coming up to me about it. We’ve expanded what we do and it was brilliant fun.

You filmed some of the crazy street games in Glasgow. How did that go?

I was apprehensive as I was out there in my sparkly gold jacket – and a kilt. A good friend of mine is Scottish and I had been asking him if it’d be OK. But it went down a storm and we’d love to come back and do more.

You also host Britain’s Got More Talent. What was it like with Ant and Dec returning to film the BGT auditions after Ant’s year-long absence?

Having Ant back was a dream. He was on fire and it was like seeing him back on series one and two. It would have been strange if Dec was on his own for the series.

Any trepidation about the return?

I’ve never actually asked Ant what his feelings were about going out and seeing what the reaction of the audience was. But I was there every day during the auditions and the crowds went nuts for him.

What was it like joining Dec for the big US finale of Saturday Night Takeaway last year?

I wanted to make sure it wasn’t seen as if I was stepping in for Ant. I was only there to be a support for Dec as it’s hard to run a juggernaut of a show like that on your own. It was an honour to be asked, though.

How do you relax away from presenting?

I love playing the piano. When Holly Willoughby and I finished Saturday morning kids’ TV, the first thing I bought was a grand piano.

What would be your ideal day?

I’d have a big breakfast, play the piano, watch a bit of Jeremy Kyle – I’m a little obsessed – then take in an afternoon show as I love the theatre. I’m lucky enough to have a place in Brighton so I’d round things off sitting on the balcony watching the sun go down.

In For A Penny, ITV, Sat, 7.30pm