HE’S the excitable Spanish co-host of Channel 4’s The Language of Love, where lonely Brits and Spanish singles try to prove love can overcome a lan
HE’S the excitable Spanish co-host of Channel 4’s The Language of Love, where lonely Brits and Spanish singles try to prove love can overcome a language barrier.
And it seems that Ricky Merino might have been struck by Cupid’s arrow too.
Ricky is a huge star in Spain after winning the Spanish-version of The X Factor[/caption]
He joked it was “love at first sight” when he met Davina McCall ahead of filming in Spain.
Ricky said: “It was a risk for the channel because they like me and they like Davina but they didn’t know how we were going to work – like is there going to be chemistry?
“And it was love at first sight, because we have the very same sense of humour, the same references.
“We have become close friends for real, because we are the same mad people.”
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He added: “I never imagined in my life working in the UK on Channel 4 next to Davina.
“It’s a dream come true because I knew her from Big Brother and I remember when I was a teenager that I saw her on MTV.”
Ricky is a huge star in Spain, hitting the spotlight after winning the country’s version of The X Factor.
He’s currently on stage in Madrid starring in a musical version of Ghost.
He says the pair are so close, Davina could re-enact the film’s famous clay modelling scene.
Ricky laughed: “I think she’s going to ask me to do that.”
Since winning singing competition Operacion Triunfo in 2017, Ricky has released music as well as hosting Netflix’s Let’s Sing!
His role on The Language of Love has made him the first Spanish presenter to break into UK television.
For now, he’s busy wrapping his head around the English language and our favourite sayings.
He laughed: “There was something I don’t remember, something about boots. Fill your boots.
“I think it was Davina, she told me that and I was like, ‘What?’ I really needed Davina to translate to me.”
- Watch The Language of Love, Tuesdays at 10pm on Channel 4.
Anger at stars’ CBBC dig
FEARNE Cotton and Jake Humphrey might be big stars now, but they owe their fame to their early days at CBBC.
So their recent criticism of life at the Beeb’s children’s arm has angered their former colleagues.
Fearne Cotton recently criticised life at CBBC[/caption]
The pair accused the BBC of harbouring an atmosphere of “catty aggression”, and said stars were regularly in tears off camera.
But a TV insider told The Sun: “It’s ridiculous, it really wasn’t the case. Over the years there were tiffs but never open warfare. To say Fearne’s comments have set a cat amongst the pigeons is an understatement.
“WhatsApps have been flying from many who were on the show when she and Jake were.
“With Fearne only just being replaced on Top Of The Pops, the timing has also raised more than a few eyebrows. No one knows what she and Jake are playing at.”
Speaking on Fearne’s podcast earlier this month, Jake hit out: “CBBC was probably the most competitive, aggressive and catty place. Have you ever known a dressing room with so many tears?”
Agreeing, Fearne replied: “I used to stay out of it. It was too scary for me.”
With Fearne’s departure, I’m A Celebrity runner-up Jordan North co-hosted Top Of The Pops Christmas specials alongside Clara Amfo.
Claire’s Strictly gay rule
STEPS singer Claire Richards is desperate to do Strictly Come Dancing – but only if she can be teamed up with a gay partner.
Bandmate Faye Tozer was runner-up in 2018 in a duet with Giovanni Pernice.
Claire Richards said: ‘I would love to do Strictly but I’d only want to do it with a gay partner’[/caption]
And while she doesn’t think she’d reach the same heights, Claire says the BBC hit is the only reality show she would agree to appear on.
Claire said: “I would love to do Strictly but I’d only want to do it with a gay partner.
“It’s not because of my husband or because I’m scared of the Strictly curse.
“I just think I would feel uncomfortable with a straight dancer.
“I would want to feel completely relaxed and comfortable and being with a gay partner would make me feel more relaxed. I don’t know if that’s wrong to say.
“Even when we are on tour I prefer dancing with a gay dancer. I feel more relaxed.”
Prue: My fear of cancel culture
PRUE Leith stars in one of the most harmless shows on telly – but even the Great British Bake Off judge admits she fears becoming a victim of cancel culture.
Speaking about a recent backlash after she mentioned calorie control on the Channel 4 show, Prue said: “I had to stop doing it because everyone gets so upset. I think it’s all ridiculous.
Prue Leith said: ‘I’m sure I will be cancelled because I said something like that’[/caption]
“But the really good charity called Beat, which is for eating disorders, say it’s fat shaming and makes people feel guilty about eating – which of course is not what I mean.
“I’m sure I will be cancelled because I said something like that.
“Except I think the world will stop being silly. Of course you don’t want to offend people, of course it’s important that overweight people shouldn’t feel bad, so I’ve stopped doing that.”
Prue has been a regular in the Bake Off tent since taking over from Mary Berry in 2017 but she may not be there for too much longer.
Asked if she would be staying for the long haul, she said: “Oh God, darling, I’m so old, I don’t think I’ll be there for the long haul. But I’m very happy at the moment.
“The wonderful thing about appetite and why it’s so good to be in the food business is that two hours later, you want to do it again.
“It’s not something you get sick of or grow out of.”
Bravo in bungled break-in
EMILY In Paris actor Lucas Bravo broke into a flat to try to help his co-star Ashley Park – and now he is worried that his misadventure will end up being written into the hit Netflix comedy drama.
Lucas, who plays chef Gabriel at the heart of the show’s love triangle, meant to enter Ashley’s pad in the French capital after she lost her keys during a night out.
Actor Lucas Bravo broke into a flat to try to help his co-star Ashley Park[/caption]
So he climbed up to the first floor, shouldered the window – then realised he had broken into someone else’s home.
Lucas said: “I saw a violin, and I shouted to Ashley, ‘Do you have a violin?’ She said, ‘No, wrong apartment’.
“One of the producers was like, ‘Oh, this is not great’.”
Perfect for series three.
Pencils 'n paint
RADIO 1’s Vick Hope is teaming up with former The Voice coach Ricky Wilson for a new CBBC show.
Some 27 budding young artists will brandish pencil and paint in a battle to be crowned Britain’s Best Young Artist.
The show will air on February 7.
Ry: I was ‘quite ill’
TELLY favourite Rylan Clark says he “didn’t think he could continue” to live after he split from husband Dan Neal.
The Strictly It Takes Two host took a four-month break from the spotlight, and said this weekend: “I’d got to the point where I didn’t know if I wanted to come back.
Rylan says he ‘didn’t think he could continue’ to live after he split from husband Dan Neal[/caption]
“Or whether I’d be able to do this job again. I’d got quite ill.”
He added: “Last summer for the first time, I literally felt alone. I didn’t think I’d be here. I didn’t think I could continue.”
It’s great to see Rylan back to his best.
ANTON Du Beke has been dubbed Hairy Spice by the cast of his new Showtime Tour.
The Strictly legend explained: “We’ve got a brilliant Spice Girls Wannabe number. It’s a great Charleston!”
Buy tickets from January 28 at antonanderinlive.co.uk.