Alan Carr has recalled his “weird rivalry” with the late Sir Bruce Forsyth.
The comedian told how the veteran entertainer and presenter, who died in August 2017 aged 89, had singled out his breakthrough Chatty Man talk show as a “hit”.
Airing on Channel 4, the programme ran for 16 series from 2009 to 2016.
Carr is returning as the host of Epic Gameshow on ITV, where contestants compete in classic gameshow formats for prizes or cash sums.
These include Play Your Cards Right and The Price Is Right, both of which were hosted by Sir Bruce in his heyday.
Carr told the PA news agency he was “never ever” going to be able to host the old formats as well as their original comperes.
He added: “He was my first ever guest on Chatty Man, Sir Bruce was, and I was so excited to have him on the show.
“The next day I got a phone call and I couldn’t recognise the number so I didn’t pick up, and then when I listened to my voicemail, it was Brucey saying how much he had enjoyed coming on Chatty Man.
“He was like: ‘I think you’ve got a hit on your hands! I loved it!’ I treasured it for ages.
“Me and Sir Bruce often had a laugh. When he came on Chatty Man I used to joke about how old his jokes were on Strictly.
“And then I remember him saying a joke live on Strictly that didn’t go down well, and he said: ‘Alan Carr told me that joke!’ So we had a bit of a weird rivalry going on.
“To me, being there going, ‘Higher, lower!’ I mean, it’s a dream come true.”
Carr said the last few years of the pandemic and increases in the cost-of-living had caused the new series to have a “real energy”.
He said: “What I found with all of them is, I think everyone’s just had such a tough few years that actually, because the prizes are so big – there’s a car or a holiday or just a cash prize – there’s an intensity there with the games that people really want to win, because money’s so tight at the minute.
“There’s a real energy to them and actually, you really do start wanting people to actually win this money because it’s going to do them a lot of good.”
Alan Carr’s Epic Gameshow airs on ITV and ITV Hub.