Stephen Mulhern opens up on his special relationship with Ant and Dec

The second series of In For Penny is just what we’ve needed during these uncertain times. With silly games that challenge the public and Stephen Mulhern’s infectious personality, the ITV show has been putting a smile on our face every Saturday night.

But one challenge from the show that magician Stephen, 43, says he wouldn’t be able to face is You Are What You Eat, where two contestants are blindfolded and have to guess what they’re eating.

“It would be a nightmare for me,” says Stephen. “I’m a fussy eater. I’m genuinely considering getting hypnotherapy for it.”

Here, the Saturday Night Takeaway and Catchphrase star opens up about the new series, and the only reality show he’ll ever consider doing…

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Will we ever see you do any reality TV?

The only one that I would consider would be the [I’m a Celeb] jungle. But it would possibly be the most horrific thing I ever did. I’m a fussy eater. I can’t even eat a prawn, how am I going to eat something from a kangaroo’s body? I’m also not good with heights. I think Ant and Dec would laugh their heads off at me.

What did you think about Ant saying recently that you’d “present anything”?

I only get given the shows they don’t want to do [laughs]. It was cheeky but I would never take anything like that to heart. In many ways he’s right! I’ve known the boys for 22 years. We live around the corner from each other. We all help each other out and we have a good time. It’s really important to stick together. They’re my favourite people to work with. When we were watching the videos of everyone dancing at home for the last Saturday Night Takeaway in the studio, Dec got really emotional.

How do you feel about Britain’s Got More Talent being axed?

It was a good 13 years filming it. I just think it was a nice show to follow on from the main one. You got to see the judges out of their comfort zone. And seeing Ant and Dec doing stuff they wouldn’t normally do and the acts you don’t get to see on the main show. All the judges and Ant and Dec were sending me some really lovely texts when they were filming the latest series of the main show. They all said they missed me and it didn’t feel the same.

How will the show work now the BGT live shows have been postponed due to coronavirus?

I heard the live shows will be later in the year, but I don’t know whether they’ve confirmed it. I think they tried doing a Got Talent somewhere in the world before with no audience and it ended up that the backing dancers were just clapping in the wings. That’s the worst thing you’d ever want as a performer! I just hope there isn’t a demand for Britain’s Got More Talent to return, because I’m sorry it’s too late!

Tell us about the new series of In For A Penny…

There is something about this show where all the family can just enjoy it. You’re never going to learn anything from the show but you will have a good laugh, and that’s what we all need right now. Luckily, we filmed it a while ago or it just wouldn’t have been possible. The one thing I love is that the shows I do are family shows.

You said you’re a fussy eater so you wouldn’t be able to do the You Are What You Eat game?

I’m terrible. I’m genuinely considering getting hypnotherapy for it. I’ve thought about it for quite some time. Every time I see [therapists] Nick and Eva Speakman on This Morning, I think about giving it a try. If someone says they want a lunch meeting I have to check the menu before to check there is something I will eat. It’s terrible. Holly Willoughby, Ant and Dec and Leigh Francis have all made fun of me about it! People trick me, too. A friend told me he was eating onion rings so I tried one and it was calamari. It was awful!

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How are you spending your time at home lately?

I’ve loved magic since the age of 11 so I’m going to start doing some more magic and putting it on social media and teaching kids, too. My biggest worry is my parents. I’m FaceTiming them every day. It took a long time for me to show them how FaceTime works, but it was worth it!

In For A Penny airs on ITV, Saturdays at 7:30pm.

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