‘He’s still got it’: Mel Giedroyc says there will ‘always be a flicker of chemistry’ with Dermot O’Leary

Mel Giedroyc has said there will always be “a flicker of chemistry” between her and fellow TV star Dermot O’Leary.

The pair first met when O’Leary started working as a runner on Channel 4’s Nineties daytime comedy show Light Lunch, which was hosted by Giedroyc and her longtime presenting partner, Sue Perkins.

Last year, O’Leary, who has since become a household name as the host of ITV’s reality competition series The X Factor, recalled a drunken encounter with Giedroyc during one of their notoriously “raucous” and “debauched” wrap parties.

Appearing as a guest on her Dave show Unforgiveable, he explained the wrap parties were famously used as excuses for cast and crew to let off any sexual tension that had built off during filming: “Long story short: Everyone snogs everyone else... I end up snogging the talent,” he recalled.

“There are rules in TV, and one is, you don’t snog the talent!”

Almost 30 years later, Giedroyc apparently still remembers the moment well.

“There will always be a flicker of chemistry between me and Dermot O’Leary,” the 55-year-old told the Observer in a Q&A on Sunday 27 August. “Maybe not from his side, but certainly from mine. We had a brief encounter at a wrap party many decades ago.

“I bumped into him the other day in an ITV corridor. What can I say? He’s still got it.”

Mel Giedroyc recalled an encounter with Dermot O’Leary at a wrap party back in the Nineties (Getty)
Mel Giedroyc recalled an encounter with Dermot O’Leary at a wrap party back in the Nineties (Getty)

In the same interview, Giedroyc, who is married to TV director Ben Morris, admitted that she and Perkins were convinced The Great British Bake Off would be “career suicide” when it first launched on the BBC in 2010.

“Sue [Perkins] and I spent the whole first series saying, ‘This is a disaster. What have we done?’” she said.

She also recalled the time she and Perkins stole Bake Off judge Paul Hollywood’s car: “We teased him a lot and one lunchtime drove his (borrowed) car down the driveway and into a little copse.

“Paul just about kept it together, but his slightly twitching jaw betrayed his true feelings,” she said. “He laughed when we came clean but hugged us a little too tightly. Sorry Paul.”

Giedroyc and Perkins, along with judge Mary Berry, stepped down from their roles on Bake Off in 2016 after the programme, made by Love Productions, was poached from the BBC by Channel 4.

Giedroyc is hosting new ITV series Britain by the Book with Martin Clunes from 6 September.