A Place in the Sun’s Craig Rowe knew co-star Laura Hamilton before TV fame

As Craig Rowe joins the line-up for the all-new series of A Place in the Sun, one might think he'd be nervous following in the footsteps of such iconic presenters as Laura Hamilton and Jasmine Harman.

But Craig has been put at ease with his fellow hosts – as he even has a secret connection to Laura, having known her before she reached the height of her fame.

Speaking exclusively to Daily Star about his new role, Craig explained that though filming was "challenging", his new presenting pals were there to get him through.

He said: "The first episodes especially, I found it quite challenging to get my head in the right place to really do a good job. You’re joining such an established show, where the presenters are so well known, so I did think, 'Oh god, am I going to be any good at this?'"

But they were soon to put him at ease, as Craig explained: "We don’t get much time as a group because we’re either out filming the show or people are scattered all over the UK and all over London, but there is a WhatsApp group!

"When I started, everybody sent a message saying congratulations and well done, 'We’re here if you need anything', so it’s been really supportive."

And he's particularly good pals with Laura, as they actually used to work together in a very different environment.

The pair worked on the now-defunct shopping channel iBuy at the turn of the millennium.

Craig explained: "I've met most of [the presenters], actually. I’ve met Jasmine. I used to work with Laura years and years ago, so I knew her from a long time ago.

"We did an auction channel years ago called iBuy, way back at the start of the 2000s – before she was a fantastic star and household name! That was when she was just starting out.

"So it’s lovely that we’re working together again because we always got on really well," he added.

Craig continued: "Jasmine I met at a party we had to celebrate the 21st birthday of A Place in the Sun, I had a dance with Jasmine!

"I’ve met Lee Juggurnauth because he worked with Lulu, and I met Lulu a lot at QVC because her records have been sold on there, and I've met Scarlet a few times as well."

But how does Craig's presenting style compare to the others'?

He said: "I would say we’re all quite different, but if I think of all the different styles I would say I'm probably the closest to Ben [Hillman], because he’s quite funny and cheeky.

"He winds people up a little bit and has a bit of banter with them, which I have as well. But the great thing is they’ve all got such different styles.

"When I watch Laura and Jasmine, who have been doing it for the longest, they make it look so smooth and sleek! They’re both brilliant. I'd love to be like that one day, just all velvety."

Craig, however, can already hold his own.

He said of the new series: "It’s really interesting. it just goes to show how emotional the journey is. When I was in France recently with a lady called Sylvia, we were in the North Dordogne.

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"The search had been going okay, she liked what I showed her but I wouldn’t say she was massively excited or anything. It was at property three or four when she suddenly switched.

"We found this beautiful little old French farm house and she walked out to the garden and the sun was just setting, so it was a lovely golden kind of day and she actually had tears in her eyes.

"I saw real emotion, and that reminded me that these are people's lives! This is a massive change they're making. I really connected with that, because it was the first time that week I could actually see tears in her eyes because the magnitude of what she was doing, finding somewhere she loved had hit home."

Catch Craig's first episode of A Place in the Sun on Friday, January 7 on Channel 4.

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