By Shelley Marsden
Bray-born Laura Whitmore has missed out on a presenting spot on The Xtra Factor, to her radio presenter pal Sarah Jane Crawford.
The pretty blonde MTV presenter had been on the short-list to replace Caroline Flack, but heard that producers on Simon Cowell’s show decided that she wasn’t the right fit and instead went for pal, Sarah-Jane Crawford, a relative unknown.
Apparently Cowell was “bowled over” by the 29 year old Radio 1Xtra DJ, a former model, who was “thrilled” to be named as the new host, a role Caroline had had for three years.
Surely disappointed but putting a brave face on it, Laura congratulated her friend on Twitter, accompanying her good wishes with a pic of the pair in bikinis.
“Massive congrats to my pal Sarah Jane on her new TV job! I’ll be watching from Oz. Will miss you not out there this year. I need a new cocktail buddy,” she said.
The new Xtra Factor host was a guest presenter on the show that Whitmore fronts, ‘I’m a Celebrity … Get Me Out of Here Now!’
Since she moved to London, Whitmore’s TV profile has been on the rise, and she is expected to keep her job at the ITV reality show, but insiders say she has been on the lookout to get a flagship programme and definitively establish herself with viewers in Britain.
“The Xtra Factor would have been a brilliant gig for Laura. It would have meant exposure in front of millions of viewers every single weekend and really propelled her into the spotlight,” said a source. “But she’s a resourceful girl and has lots of opportunities coming up.”
Meanwhile, the final judges line-up for the 11th edition of the show is Simon Cowell, Cheryl Cole, Mel B and Irish media moghul Louis Walsh. The judges live auditions began in Manchester on Monday.