NEW YORK -- Three years after being fired by NBC due to the infamous "Access Hollywood" tape, Billy Bush is hoping to use his experience in television's wilderness to his advantage in his new job.

Bush begins Monday as host of the revamped pop culture news show, "Extra." He was a rising star just hired as a host on the "Today" show when tape emerged during the 2016 presidential campaign of him laughing to lewd remarks made by Donald Trump before an appearance on "Access Hollywood" 11 years earlier.

Following an outcry, Trump was elected president. Bush lost his job.

That gave him a unique view from the inside of a media maelstrom, and he's using it as a selling point to land interviews with celebrities in similar situations. The idea: I, more than anyone, know what you're going through and I'm not going to make things worse.

"I've already connected with several people I'm watching right now getting the flogging and the public shaming and the cancel culture and all that," he said. "I'm the first one to reach out and say, 'you know you're in good hands with me.'

"It's not that I'm going to nurture you," Bush said. "But I am going to be extremely fair and empathetic of the human condition, which is that we're all hard-wired for good and evil and we're not at our best sometimes."

For competitive reasons, the only example that his executive producer, Lisa Gregorisch-Dempsey, will cite is a "Bachelor in Paradise" contestant.

Gregorisch-Dempsey knew Bush in the early days of his career, before he moved to "Access."

Now, with changes to her show, she considered Bush "the only person who could do what we're doing," because of his reporting ability.

"There's not a person I've ever talked to who didn't say that he got a raw deal," Gregorisch-Dempsey said. "Life is about second chances."

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