Behind the scenes of Dancing With the Stars is not as gruesome as you might think. Despite what you may believe, the reality series’ hosts, Erin Andrews and Tom Bergeron, get along quite well and Erin has actually called her dear colleague a very “lovable and caring friend.”

“Tom’s a really dear friend and he’s the reason why I have the job there and I’m very thankful for him,” she exclusively revealed to Closer Weekly while promoting her new NFL apparel collection, WEAR by Erin Andrews.

“He has such a witty, dry, sarcastic sense of humor, which fits me perfectly, but he’s also a really lovable, caring friend and I appreciate both sides of him,” she admitted. “The banter between us in script reads and dress rehearsals is a very unedited banter and can get pretty dirty which is always fun but we have a great time together.”

In 2012, Erin, 41, started hosting DWTS alongside Tom, 64, who began in 2005 — the year the show premiered. After all those years working with each other, Erin believes the series will not be the same if Tom ever decided to leave.

“The show pretty much guides us and look Tom’s the quarter back of our show,” she said. “He’s the face and the main guy of our show so it’s his show and I’ll do whatever he needs to kind of just go along with it.”

Erin doesn’t only think highly of Tom. He also likes working with the American sportscaster too. “I love working with smart and funny people,” he once said. Aside from working with some really great people, Tom also enjoys how much the show has progressed since he first came on to host it.

“It’s grown and expanded much more. I thought, in all honesty, we’d be a summer show, we’d be a six-week, every summer a little [filler show],” he once said. “So this has been much bigger than I would have predicted … Just look at the set we have now and the production values that they are able to mount every week on a live show. It’s astounding.”

This is season 28 of DWTS and the show is still going strong — all thanks to Erin and, of course, Tom!

Reporting by Diana Cooper