SHE has been at the helm of Strictly Come Dancing since it first waltzed on to the box in 2004.
Vernon, 48, aggiunge: "rigorosamente was probably one of the first shows to embrace two women as the main anchors of a huge Saturday night entertainment show.
“We’ve seen Formica e Dec for decades double-heading a show and I don’t think two women had done that before on such a large scale.
“As far as prime time entertainment shows go, Claudia and Tess really broke the mould.
“I think that’s something that both of them are really proud of — and long may it continue.”
Alongside Tess, Vernon juggles a busy work schedule in television with parenting their two daughters Phoebe, 17, and 13-year-old Amber.
But while they may have their hands full with two teenagers in their Buckinghamshire home, Vernon admits everything goes out of the window when Strictly begins.
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‘BABY COMES ALIVE’
“We love Strictly in our house,” says Vernon. “It’s like our third child.
“Tess started the show in its infancy — its first ever series when it was just a wee baby.
“Then we had our first baby and subsequently we had Amber, so we’ve grown up with it as like a family member.
“It sleeps for the majority of the year, but come August, when they start prepping outfits and talking about contestants, that’s when that baby comes alive.”
Like millions of fans across the country, Vernon can’t wait to tune in and get to know the group of “funny celebs with lots to say”.
Lui dice: “Because Tess is hosting such a big show — the biggest entertainment show on the Beeb — we have to embrace it because it’s become such a pivotal part of our lives.”
Infatti, Tess is so committed to the role, she has plastered the new line-up all over their kitchen as she prepares for launch night.
Vernon, 48, Oms married Tess nel mese di settembre 2003, aggiunge: “Tess studies. She does all her homework on the contestants.
“We’ve got biogs dotted around the kitchen at the moment, which is great.”
Seasoned presenter Vernon, who cut his teeth on Channel 4 youth show T4 in the early Noughties, is no stranger to live TV himself.
But would he finally strap on his dancing shoes and join the BBC show as one of the contestants?
He jokes: “The difficulty for me would be sticking to a strict routine because I like to freestyle and just go with it.
“As my kids know, once I hear a repetitive beat I am off. If they picked up the phone and called me, I am all ears.”
The only downside, Vernon concedes, is that Tess may not be able to resist a pop when it comes to the scores.
Vernon adds: “What we always laugh at is when they finish the dance routine and they come off and the contestants are all sweaty and knackered and Tess does the, ‘Are you alright?'
“I think the first question from Tess would be: ‘I think you left the iron on. Did you turn the iron off? Did you close the dishwasher door? Are you sure you didn’t leave any wet towels on the bed?'
“Those kinds of conversations would continue on to the live broadcast.”
While he’s ready to show off his rumba, one reality show Vernon isn’t yearning after is Sono una celebrità . . . Get Me Out of Here! — despite calling his time in Gwrych Castle nel 2020 one of the best experiences of his life.
But while Vernon says he’d happily visit the show’s original home of Australia as a tourist, he would never put himself back up for a Bushtucker Trial — whether it was in Wales or Down Under.
Ruling out a return he says: “As a contestant, hell no.
“My time of eating genitals from another animal is completely out the window.
“I’ve done that — I’ve chowed down on a pair of deer’s testicles, a cow’s nipple and a sheep’s brain. I am done.
“I’ve done it, and I had the best time.
“I don’t want to go back and have it kind of tar my first experience of the castle.”
Vernon was a runner-up with Radio One DJ Jordan North on his series, where author and blogger Giovanna Fletcher was crowned the Jungle Queen.
During his time on the show he struck up a friendship with EastEnders actor Shane Richie, who is now a pal for life.
Vernon recalls: "Egli ha detto, 'Ascolta, we’re going to have a lot of fun, but it’s got to be you.
“You can’t pretend to be someone you’re not because you’re going to get found out.
“‘So let’s all work together to bring out the best in each other and let’s play it as us versus the castle instead of us versus everyone else’.
“That’s what we did and it really worked. That conversation really bonded us all together tightly.”
His stint on I’m A Celebrity has led to a number of high-profile roles for Vernon.
Last year he was named as the host of ITV’s new guessing challenge Game Of Talents.
And while the format was a failure — with the show binned after one series — Vernon was praised for his presenting talents.
Later this year he will return to ITV daytime for another edition of Loose Men.
Intanto, Vernon will focus on being a dad as Tess prepares to start work on Strictly in the next few weeks.
Vernon, who has teamed up with McDonald’s to get 500,000 free books to disadvantaged kids, says he is relishing the time at home reading with his daughters — which he says is one of their favourite pastimes.
Lui dice: “Roald Dahl’s shed is just up the road from where we live, so Roald Dahl books are always a staple.
“Our good friend David Walliams is always sending the girls books whenever he’s got something new out.
“We really appreciate David’s generosity.
“When they get a little bit older, you see them start to choose their own reading.
“Amber’s really artistic so she’s reading about the great masters.
“Phoebe’s into drama and theatre, so we’ve got all those kinds of books lying around in her bedroom.
“It’s really good for them — it gives them a solid foundation.”
- To mark the start of the new school term, McDonald’s is donating 500,000 free books in four weeks to disadvantaged children across the UK. To date they have given away 130million free books.