Olly Murs has admitted it took him "years" to form a friendship with Cheryl because of her "hard exterior".
The singer, who found fame on The X Factor in 2009, said he found it difficult to get to know the former judge properly because she's very "thick skinned" as she's been in the industry for such a long time.
Olly, 34, first met the Crazy Stupid Love singer when he auditioned for the show and Cheryl was a part of the judging panel during the sixth series.
Olly, who later went on to host the show in 2015, revealed it took Cheryl a very long time to see he was a "genuine person".
He told The Sun: "It was quite a hard exterior to break down to get to know Cheryl.
"She’s been in the industry such a long time and she’s very thick skinned. It took her years to see I’m a genuine person."
However, when Olly became a host on the show three years ago, he said that's when he started to bond with Chezza.
He added: "When I worked on X Factor I actually got to know her really, really well. She’s a lovely person."
But before he became pals with Cheryl, Olly admitted to having a little crush on the singer and even asked for her number on Twitter in 2012.
It was quite a hard exterior to break down to get to know Cheryl.
He tweeted at the time: "Haha sod it @cherylCole I'll ask for your number then #cantblameaguyfortrying #worthashot lol haha x."
Meanwhile, two years before in 2010, Olly told The Sun: "I'm not going to lie, she is unbelievable. She smells good, she looks good.
"If I go back on The X Factor this year, I’m going to go straight to her dressing room."
Last month, Olly opened up about having therapy following his hosting stint on The X Factor.
The star admitted presenting the show "wasn't a nice experience" as he was targeted by trolls after he made a mistake during a live show.
The blunder saw him mix up the judges scores and prematurely announced that contestant Monica Michael was going home - before the results of the public vote had been revealed.
Olly, who hosted the show with Caroline Flack, has said he found the negative attention hard to deal with, so he turned to therapy to help him cope.
He told OK! Magazine: "The X Factor wasn’t a nice experience. I was targeted by trolls and the media.
"It took me a few years to pluck up the courage to speak to someone."
Olly, 34, added: "I only went a couple of times but talking to someone who wasn’t judgemental helped me to understand why I was reacting or feeling the way I was."
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