ABOVE: Emma Willis couldn't be more excited to host Big Brother this year
I feel like all my Christmases have come at once. I’m so lucky to have the chance to front one of my favourite shows ever.
GORGEOUS Emma Willis can’t wait to take over as the main presenter of Big Brother.
But the TV personality is also “really nervous” about filling the spike heels of original BB host Davina McCall, 45.
Emma, 37, said: “She’s a legend, Davina. I adore her. She’s brilliant and if I can be half as good as her I will be over the moon.
“She just did it perfectly and seamlessly for ten years. No one can repeat that brilliance.”
Emma, who describes herself as a “massive Big Brother geek”, has watched the show since it started in 2000 and has presented after-hours spin-off Bit On The Side on Channel 5 for the past two years.
Now she is “super-excited” to be taking over from Brian Dowling, 34, as host of the main show.
She said: “I feel like all my Christmases have come at once. I’m so lucky to have the chance to front one of my favourite shows ever. I’ve watched every episode for the past 13 years. The time I’ve invested in it has paid off.”
It hasn’t been a smooth path to the leading role, though. As awkward moments go, facing a mate whose job you have taken is right up there.
Emma said: “I have spoken to Brian and I’ve seen him. I know him really well because we’ve always been around this world together. We have a similar sense of humour and get on really well.
“It was obviously really difficult, having that conversation with somebody and hoping and praying they will be OK when they have every right to be pissed off.
“But he was lovely, a real gentleman – and he made it really easy when it could have been difficult.
“He’s a great bloke and understands the nature of what we do. I was grateful that he was so kind.”
Emma will be juggling BB with appearances on This Morning as regular stand-in for Holly Willoughby.
And she is also filming a second series of ITV2’s Girlfri3nds which follows three single girls’ quest for love.
She will also be keeping a well-manicured grip on Bit On The Side too, continuing to be involved alongside new host Rylan Clark.
Emma, who is married to ex-Busted star Matt Willis, 29, and mum to Isabelle, three, and 18-month-old Ace, added: “I told them I would still like to be involved because I feel like it’s my third child…or fourth if you include my husband!
“When I do BB I like to be totally submerged in it for three months. I love talking about the show every night, like the crazy fan I am, to the other crazy fans.”
Emma also forces Matt to watch the show.
She said: “He had never watched BB until he met me. Now he has no choice. He always says ‘I’m not watching it this time’. Then we watch launch night and he gets sucked in. He had better watch it this year!”
Emma lists her dream housemates as Joan Rivers, Jonathan Ross, Adam Ant, Richard Madeley and Judy Finnegan, plus This Morning’s Eammon Holmes and Ruth Langsford (“I love their banter”).
And she hopes to charm both housemates and viewers with her cheeky humour. She said: “We have such fun on Bit On The Side that I’d like to try to bring some of that cheekiness over to the main show.
“You have to be in control and lead it because you’re hosting the big one. I can’t have as much fun as on Bit On The Side, though. You can’t be as naughty.”
Asked if she would enter the BB house herself, Emma said: “If I experienced it that might take it off its pedestal. But maybe it would be fun to go in for a little while, like when Davina went in dressed as a chicken.”
However, she won’t be recreating Davina’s infamous “bikini moment” when she interviewed evicted BB6 housemate Sam Heuston in a black two-piece.
“No way!” laughed Emma. “That woman has balls of steel and abs of steel, and a really firm bum. I’m not that brave.”