Difficult to believe Nicki Chapman speaks out on life-changing early career moment

Escape to the Country: Nicki Chapman outlines ‘biggest mistakes’

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Nicki Chapman, 55, started off in the music industry when she was only 21 working for MCA records. She then rose to TV fame after securing a judging role on Pop Idol in the early 1990s.

Speaking about her early career on the White Wine Question Time podcast, Nicki described her joining Pop Idol as a “life-changing” moment.

Nicki said: “It’s difficult to believe… Some part of me thinks it was like ‘yesteryear’ and then another part thinks, ‘I don’t think it ever happened’.

“It’s weird… I don’t know. But [I have] such fond memories.

“And life-changing for me, it really was.”

Host Kate Thornton chimed in: “I mean, for so many of us because, you know, I got the call to come and do the show, then went on to do the X-Factor and it put my career in a completely different space and place.”

During her years in the music business, Nicki became close friends with X Factor star Simon Cowell.

Speaking about Simon’s enigmatic off-screen personality, Nicki said he used to like playing a “cat and mouse game” with people.

She explained: “He just used to like crush [people] – and it was mainly women, let’s be honest.

“Most of the women would really give it back and he would love it.

“It was cat and mouse with him.

“I was lucky because we had that reputation together because we’d worked together.”

Nicki highlighted: “I knew him, it was done in jest.”

She also revealed how the TV star was perceived as “really intimidating” by people who had worked with him.

Nicki added: “But he loves it. He puts it out there, he wants it back.

“If he’s gonna be rude to people he wants it back in bucketloads.”

Nicki now presents Escape To The Country, a BBC One show that sees presenters escort prospective buyers to various countryside properties.

The programme is currently in its 21st season and gives families with tips on buying property.

Nicki is also known for hosting Wanted Down Under and the RHS Chelsea Flower Show.

When she is not working on TV, she acts as an ambassador for various charities, including British Dressage and the Teenage Cancer Trust.

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