Britain’s Got Talent judge Amanda Holden said appearing on the talent show helped change her “terrible image” with women.
The 46-year-old actress, known for television roles in Cutting It and The Grimleys before signing up for the ITV series in 2007, had a much-publicised affair with Men Behaving Badly star Neil Morrissey while married to then-husband Les Dennis.
But she said the decision to appear on the Britain’s Got Talent panel alongside show supremo Simon Cowell has been vindicated.
She told the Mail on Sunday’s You magazine: “I had a terrible image before I started BGT and he let people see me as I am.
“There will always be people who don’t like me, but a lot more do now – particularly women.
“You can only change things one person at a time.”
She said she was “thrilled” to stand in for This Morning co-presenter Holly Willoughby during her maternity leave in 2014 and 2015 because she was “able to show a different side of myself”.
The actress, who is appearing in the West End show Stepping Out from next month, added: “I wasn’t wearing the big glam frock – I wasn’t judging people. I was talking to people in the news, (covering) a bit of fashion, a bit of cookery, a lot of mums’ issues. I loved every minute.”
And the mother of two girls said she would be open to standing in for Holly on a permanent basis if the slot ever became available: “Holly is incredible but if she ever does finally hang up her stilettos, that’s the job I’d really want to be considered for.”