■ The presenter, 48, on the fate of edd the duck, diva demands, and spreading cheer on Good Morning Britain
Tell us about your latest podcast, Refuse To Snooze.
It lasts nine minutes, so the idea is that instead of hitting the snooze button you listen to this. I interview different people, including Katie Piper talking about motivation and Jodie Kidd talking about parenting.
Speaking of snoozing, do you have recurring dreams?
I’m not a big dreamer, I don’t dream a lot, but I did dream the other day that I trained in the gym with The Rock. I was nowhere near as strong as him but he was impressed. I got The Rock’s approval so that was key.
Do you enjoy being on Good Morning Britain?
It’s a lot of fun. I get to travel a lot and work with Piers Morgan, who is unique. The show is doing better than ever and we were nominated for a Bafta. And it’s a great job — I’ve given someone a cheque for £1 million and someone else a cheque for £5,000, and the smile on their face is still the same. You’re giving people money they didn’t have and sometimes it’s life-changing.
You had a successful career as a producer. Why did you go back to presenting?
It’s my passion. I started out as a presenter and without that I wouldn’t have been able to produce anything. And unlike producing, you don’t have to take the work home with you. Once you’ve done the show, it’s done. When you’re producing, you’re sometimes managing big teams and that never stops. I thought I’d go through a phase of presenting for a while.
You launched lots of people’s careers doing T4. Have you stayed in touch with them?
Loads. Ben Shephard works on the same show as me. I still talk to Dermot O’Leary, Margherita Taylor, June Sarpong, Vernon. Shipwrecked has just come back so it’s interesting to see that again. There’s a generation of people who grew up with T4 so it’s interesting when people come up and say it meant a lot to them. Yesterday a girl came up to me in a coffee shop and said she was in the first series of Shipwrecked and I cast her. Jeff Brazier was in Shipwrecked and he still works in TV.
When you produced Top Of The Pops were any of the acts particularly uncooperative?
That was a minefield of talent and every week something would happen that would lead to me having to talk very slowly to a pop star, generally American, and say, ‘That’s not how we do things here.’ When I heard about diva demands I thought people were making them up — but they’re real.
Can you think of any examples?
Gwen Stefani wasn’t too happy when I stopped her rehearsal. I had to explain to her she was an hour and a half late so we couldn’t just wait for her.
Could Top Of The Pops come back as a weekly show?
No, the idea of having a weekly television music show is impossible. It’s hard to get music to rate on television if it isn’t ‘event television’. And now you can watch a video on the internet when it comes out, so why would you wait for a week to watch it on television? The generation who would watch music videos now wouldn’t want to watch them on television, they’d prefer to watch them on a device. Trailers for big films such as Star Wars get huge spikes now online because people do wait for those in a way they don’t wait for pop videos any more.
Do you still come up with ideas for potential new TV shows?
Yes, all the time. Television now for me is all about event television — you need event television to get ratings.
Why did Gordon The Gopher overshadow Edd The Duck?
He didn’t. Edd was as popular, if not more popular. How dare you!
Have you still got Edd?
No, he was never mine. He lives in Oxfordshire in the Old Performers Retirement Home along with Orville, Kermit and Gordon.
You sell food on QVC. Would you like to do your own range of candles, like Rylan Clark-Neal has?
I help curate the food and then eat it. It’s reminiscent of the Live & Kicking days where we don’t rehearse it, we just go on and do it, and that’s very rare in television these days. I haven’t seen Rylan’s candles. I’m fine just eating the food. It’s fun.
Have you ever bought anything from them?
Yes, Yankee Candles and flannel bedding.
Do you have any TV ambitions left?
I’d really love to do a Live & Kicking-style show again, whether that be This Morning or something on a Saturday, early evening, that parents could watch with their children.
What lessons has your career in showbiz taught you?
Always be on time, always smile and you’re only as good as your last link.
■ Refuse To Snooze with Andi Peters is available now at evesleep.co.uk/podcast