Cat Deeley Cat Deeley

The British are coming, the British are coming... to count down the final moments of 2006, as U.K. cutie Cat Deeley hosts Fox's New Year's Eve Special, kicking off Sunday at 11 pm/ET. Before she hopped across the pond to tackle this titanic Times Square event, the So You Think You Can Dance hostess spoke with about the surprises she has in store, her far-out fashions and George Clooney's rumored crush on her. Have you by chance ever been in Times Square for New Year's Eve before?
Cat Deeley: You know what? I have never, ever, ever been to Times Square or New York City for New Year's, so I am so excited and thrilled! There couldn't be a better way of celebrating New Year's Eve than hosting this special for Fox. I just can't wait for that moment when it hits 12 o'clock and that surge of energy comes up from the Square, and people are going crazy kissing each other and screaming.... It will be completely infectious. Do you have anyone lined up to kiss?
Deeley: No, not yet. I'm just hoping that I can manage to count down from 10 and make it to zero on time! I think any kissing might throw my counting off a bit — especially if he was a good kisser! [Laughs] You'll just have to take applications when you get back.
Deeley: Exactly. I can grab some mistletoe and trick someone into standing under it with me. Get 'em while they're unaware! Who are you looking forward to seeing on the special?
Deeley: On the show, we've got Toni Braxton and Daughtry [performing live], which will be great. Benji [Schwimmer] and Heidi, from So You Think You Can Dance, are going to be on, too. It will be really nice to see them again! Have you seen them since the show?
Deeley: No, I haven't. I've seen Ivan [Kournaev], and I saw them at reunion parties and things like that, but I haven't seen them for a little while, so it will be lovely to share my New Year's Eve with them. Also, a lot of my friends are working on the show, so it's like I've got my own little family there with me in Times Square. When did you find out that you got this gig?
Deeley: I was at the airport and flying back to England, and [Fox vice president of specials and alternative programming] Mike Darnell said, "What are you doing over Christmas?" I said, "I'm going home to my mom and dad's – my mother would crucify me if I didn't return home and have turkey dinner with Brussel sprouts and all that stuff — and he said, "Well, I need you back here on the 26th. You're hosting New Year's Eve for Fox, from Times Square. You're the only woman doing it. I don't care what your mother says. If I have to fly her here and she has to be on TV, too, that's what's going to happen." He was very persuasive. [Laughs] Have you spoken to either of your "rivals in revelry," Ryan Seacrest or Carson Daly?
Deeley: I haven't. I know that I'm supposed to be going out to dinner afterwards with Ryan Seacrest, because we have a lot of mutual friends, so... I think I can take the boys. I know that's fighting talk, but all is fair in love and war and TV. I'm going to give it my best shot, and not worry too much about what they're going to do. When you try to copy others, it's a slippery slope to nowhere. It's been an interesting year for you, huh?
Deeley: It's been pretty, pretty amazing. We've got another season of So You Think You Can Dance starting very soon – we start auditions in February-March — and I'm doing things for [The Tonight Show with] Jay Leno and for GMA, too. To be given this by Fox, as a female on my own, is pretty sensational. I was so flattered. Did you expect this sort of success when you came to the States?
Deeley: Never. Never, ever, ever. I hoped and I dreamed that So You Think You Can Dance would be successful, and I hoped that I would be a part of that success, but I never in my wildest dreams thought that it would be this much of a success. I feel funny talking about it, like I'm going to jinx it or something! I'm having a ball, and I love America. I love your enthusiasm for everything, so I think that moment when the clock strikes 12 is going to be insane. What would you say was the highlight of your year?
Deeley: Hmm... I did an interview with Kylie Minogue, the first interview she did after having breast cancer and going into remission. She'd been through an extraordinary life experience and came through the other side glowing and happy and healthy, and being asked to be the first person she talked to was so, so flattering. You always seem so at ease when on TV. Have any of your interviews made you nervous?
Deeley: Not really, because I always really overprepare for them — I'm a big square that way. I do spider diagrams and move questions around on paper.... It's like, "No matter what you throw at me, I can pretty much cope." That's what I intend to do with New Year's Eve, too. Prep as much as I can, yet keep it fun and lively. When I was blogging about So You Think You Can Dance for, there were some nights when the debate about your outfits was equal to the debate about the dancers. So I know our readers will hate me if I don't ask you about your wardrobe and what inspired it....
Deeley: I use all different designers, and it's actually very editorial, my style. It's not very conventional, and I don't really expect everybody to get it, but I love it, and it's [meant] to kind of push buttons. If anybody's talking about it, good or bad, then we've done the job right. Is that how you dress when you go out, too?
Deeley: Absolutely. I think the English people are a little bit more chichi than Americans. We don't just pull on jeans, we'll do vintage clothes.... I mean, Gucci flew my [So You Think] finale dress over for me, which was pretty sensational. I love fashion, and I can't wait to read French Vogue when it comes out. That's my bible. So what are you going to wear New Year's Eve?
Deeley: Something warm! Warm, warm, warm, with a capital W. I'm actually having a very, very, very fabulous coat made, the most sensational white fake-fur coat. I was literally trying it on before I spoke to you. I had to yank it off! How would you have been spending this New Year's Eve otherwise?
Deeley: I'm not entirely sure.... I was definitely going to be here [in England], because I spent a lot of last year in L.A., and I wanted to see my friends here. But I just bought a house [in California], so I know for a fact that come February, when it's cold and dark and wet and horrible here, they will all be over in L.A. by the pool. Lastly, I have to ask: Did George Clooney ever call you? [Britain's Daily Express reported last month that upon meeting Deeley backstage at The Tonight Show, Clooney "flirted outrageously with her" and "asked for her number, saying he'd like to take her for dinner."]
Deeley: No! It was all totally made up! [Laughs] And I didn't make it up. You know what, I've never met George — never, ever, ever even met him — so I don't know if he just got a bit lonely since his pig passed away, or whatever.... [Laughs] But he looks thoroughly charming and debonair and handsome and fun and witty and intelligent, so if you could just place an answer from me in your column....

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