Simon Cowell offered Steve Jones his role on 'x factor' two years ago.

The Welsh presenter stunned industry insiders when he landed the high-profile presenting job on the new US version of the pop star search show but although he went through a rigorous interview process, Steve claims the media mogul approached him about the programme some time ago.

During an appearance on CNN show 'Piers Morgan Tonight', he said: "Well, Simon had approached me about four years ago to work on a project which I couldn't do because I was under contract with a different channel. And he said, 'I'll come back with something.' And he came back about two years ago and said, 'How would you like to host 'American X Factor'?'  And I went, 'Yes. I will do that.' About two years ago.  It was a long time ago.  And obviously then I went through a process of meeting the right people at Fox and Freemantle, the production company.  It was a long, long road.  It was getting a bit hairy towards the end, because I didn't actually secure the job until two days before we started filming. "

Although Steve has met his rival, 'American Idol' presenter Ryan Seacrest, he claims there is no bad feelings between the pair and praised Ryan for wishing him luck.

Steve - who is now living in Los Angeles - said: "I met Ryan quite recently. I was out having dinner and he was there with his family.  He made the effort to come across and say, 'Hi, good luck.' He's a lovely, lovely man. 

"I think people really want me to say horrible things about him and how I'm going to be bigger than him and all the rest of it. 

"But he's a lovely, lovely guy. That's what I'm saying. I'm not going to say anything bad about Ryan Seacrest because he is - in the hosting world, he's a God, for goodness sake."

At the end of the interview with host Piers, Steve fulfilled a dream by 'storming off' the set but first asked host Piers to insult him.

He said: "You know what?  If you think I haven't got better things to do than sit around here with you abusing me on this show? To hell with this chance, whatever."