Jesse Palmer is taking over as the host of The Bachelor.
The 42-year-old former NFL player will be taking the reins of the infamous dating show after the exit of long-time host Chris Harrison last year. Palmer issued a statement following the news, expressing his excitement over the gig.
“For more than 20 years, The Bachelor has brought the world dozens of unforgettable love stories, including at one time, my own,” he began. “Falling in love is one of life’s greatest gifts, and I am humbled by the opportunity to return to the show as host this season to offer the newest Bachelor advice gained from firsthand experience, and I am grateful to play a small part in his journey.”
Harrison exited the show after facing backlash for defending contestant Rachael Kirkconnell, who was criticised for past racist behaviour. After the interview, conducted by former Bachelorette Rachel Lindsay, Harrison apologised and announced he was stepping down from the role.
In 2004, Palmer led the show during its fifth season, resulting in a short-lived romance with contestant Jessica Bowlin. Though the relationship didn’t last, his participation on the show helped him build a broadcasting career. Shortly after finishing the show, he was tapped as a guest commentator on Fox, which lead to a gig as a sports analyst for ESPN. Palmer also hosted the dating competition show The Proposal, backed by The Bachelor creator Mike Fleiss. He currently hosts the limited competition series The Ultimate Surfer.