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Australian Luke Jacobz is a familiar face for his roles in McLeod's Daughters, and Home and Away, winning the eighth season of Dancing With the Stars and hosting all manner of reality television like Popstars Live, and Beauty and the Geek. Now he's back for the fifth year in a row to host The X-Factor Australia, with his special ability to talk 100 miles per hour, and never sound less than 100 per cent enthusiastic.

Lydia Jenkin called him up for a quick chat.

How did you end up becoming Australia's best known TV host?

I don't know! It's funny, but I left school to be a plumber -- I started a plumbing apprenticeship at the end of year eleven, and so I think all the acting and presenting, it just kind of happened because I was in the right place at the right time.


With the first season of The X-Factor, I got a call, and they said, 'What do you think of the show?', and I said 'I know the show, love the show', and they said 'Right, do you want to come and host it?' So a week later I started, and I've never looked back.

From a viewers perspective it looks like a pretty cushy gig, is it actually like that?

It's exactly what it looks like, it is a lot of fun, but it's hard work too. We've been doing auditions and boot camps and home visits for five months now, but when you get to the live shows, well, I just can't wait for that, because that's what it's all about. That's what we put all this hard work in for. It's very exciting, it's the best time of year.

Are there any songs that you really wish people wouldn't sing anymore?

I love Whitney Houston songs, but I Will Always Love You, it seems to be a bit of a national favourite, and not necessarily a favourite for people who can sing, but people who can't sing.

Do you hate the long pause countdown music?

It's kind of like my nightmare music. I sit there, and I wait and I wait and I wait, and I have to wait until the director says 'Alright, say it now.'

There's been a couple of times where I've turned around to the camera that I know the director can see, and I'm going 'Come on! Hurry up!', and I can hear him in my ear laughing. I have become known as Luke "Jeopardy" Jacobz.

Tell us why is this season going to be great.

Well one thing about this year is that the judges know what the other judges use, what their weapons are, what they do with choreography and song choices, so this year,

I think the judges want it more. Foo and Nat have never won one, Dannii and Ronan won one each, so they're all hungry for it.

And you've seen a winner in among the auditions?

I have. I've had a thing for the last few years, where I'll ring my Dad up when we get the top 12, and I say 'Dad, that person is going to win', and I've been right three out of four times.

But this year there are six acts I think could win. This year I cannot pick yet, and it's going to be tight. And I like that.

Who: Luke Jacobz, host
What: The X-Factor Australia
Where and when: Sunday, 7pm, TV3

- TimeOut