IF you’re wondering where Cat Deeley has got to, wonder no longer.
The former host of Manchester-based Stars In Their Eyes is presenting a second series of American TV hit So You Think You Can Dance.
Screened on the Fox network, the search for America’s No 1 dancer is now down to the last four, with a two-hour final next Wednesday night.
Some doubted the wisdom of importing an English presenter. But award-winning Brummie-born Cat has proved them wrong.
Her revealing exclusive TV interview with Kylie Minogue – shown on Sky One last month – showed just what an expert TV performer Cat is.
Even allowing for the fact that Cat and Kylie are friends, the ex-Fame Academy and CD:UK presenter ensured she obtained the answers the world had been waiting for about the Aussie singer’s cancer battle.
Ant and Dec enjoyed most of the headlines during the SM:TV Live years, but Cat was a vital third member of the team, and often the highlight of weekly Saturday morning Geordie Friends spin-off Chums.
She went on to host primetime shows like Stars – the future of which is still being reviewed by ITV – as well as one-offs like the 2004 Brit Awards.
Currently based in America, she was brought in to host So You Think You Can Dance by Simon Fuller and Nigel Lythgoe, the British duo who created the show through their company, the hugely successful 19 Entertainment.
You may remember that Fuller was the mastermind behind Popstars and Pop Idol, the series that ultimately led to The X Factor.
Former Spice Girls manager Simon named his company after number one hit 19 by Paul Hardcastle – one of his earlier artists – and has since expanded across the globe. Among the celebs and artists 19 represent are David and Victoria Beckham.
Nigel (right) was one of the Popstars judges, earning the nickname “Nasty Nigel.” At the time he was also Controller of Entertainment at LWT, having started his showbiz career as a dancer with The Young Generation.
Now he’s doing it all over again, but this time as both judge and executive producer of So You Think You Can Dance.
Nigel told Broadcast magazine this week that he believes Cat has more warmth on screen than Ryan Seacrest, the presenter he works with on another of his shows, American Idol.
“I think we lose out on her on occasions because of the accent,” he said. “She’s a Brummie girl with a Brummie accent, but she really communicates with that younger audience and that’s really essential.”
It’s reported that Cat – who turns 30 in October – has been signed up to host a third series of the US show. “America is very short of hosts, bizarrely,” Simon Fuller told Broadcast. “Prior to the Brit invasion, there weren’t a lot of shows that required that old fashioned kind of host and Cat was an easy choice. She slotted in beautifully.”
ITV has been approached about making a UK version of So You Think You Can Dance but look unlikely to take up the option as the BBC has already stolen a march here with series like Strictly Dance Fever.
Cat will, hopefully, be back in the UK soon. But for the moment, she’s living that American dream.