Ryan Seacrest can't believe how much his life has changed since 'American Idol' began.

Ryan Seacrest

Ryan Seacrest

The 41-year-old presenter - who has an estimated wealth of $330 million, and is ranked as the 21st highest-earning celebrity in the world by Forbes magazine - has fronted the talent show since it began in 2002 and admits his living situation was much more modest in those days.

He said: "I can't even begin to compare my life then and now.

"I mean, when this all started, I was living in a one-bedroom apartment and splitting the rent with another dude."

The show - which he co-hosted with Brian Dunkleman for the first season - was Ryan's first venture into live television and it took some time before he felt truly comfortable in front of the camera.

He told People magazine: "I was just going out there and trying my best.

"It took a few seasons before I embraced the fact that it was a big live show and things were not always going to be perfect. I got more comfortable every year."

The popular host has seen a number of changes to the judging line-up over the years, but has particular fond memories of the first seven seasons with Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul and Randy Jackson.

He said: "We had such a good, tight and close relationship.

"We'd say to each other, 'Don't bring up what we were just talking about backstage because it's personal.' But that's exactly what Simon would do, and we'd have a laugh about it. It made the show so much more fun for us."