O’Leary unclear on X Factor future

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Published: Tuesday 13th January 2015 by The News Editor

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Dermot O’Leary has cast doubt on his X Factor future – saying that he might not return as host this year.

The ex-Big Brother’s Little Brother presenter took over in 2007, after Kate Thornton was axed by Simon Cowell.

But O’Leary, 41, said that he could be tempted by a new challenge.

Asked whether he had signed up for the next series, he told Radio Times: “Not yet. Usually we talk in about mid-February.

“Of course I love doing it, and it’s a huge part of my life, but it’s eight years now. I haven’t made up my mind yet…

“If a new challenge came up that meant I couldn’t do both, then… But while I’m still enjoying it, I want to carry on doing it.”

O’Leary blamed the X Factor’s falling viewing figures on the length of the ITV show, last year won by Ben Haenow.

“The way people watch X Factor is very different to the way people watch Strictly,” he said.

“A lot of our audience know that they can go out on a Saturday night and watch it on catch-up, or the kids go to bed and they watch it as a family the following morning.

“It’s a very long show, and to ask people to watch two-and-a-half hours is never easy.”

He said that he was “a little” annoyed that rival BBC1 show Strictly Come Dancing had been scheduled at the same times as The X Factor, but that he did not “lose sleep over it”.

“We’re still doing really, really well. I don’t know if the two audiences overlap as much as we all think they do,” he said.

“The competition’s healthy. Well done to Strictly, they’ve got a successful show. It’s rated really well, and it’s beaten us for the past couple of years. But then again, Bake Off’s probably beating both of us!”

O’Leary married long-term girlfriend Dee Koppang in 2012 after 10 years together.

He told Radio Times how he had to cut down on the TV shows he watches, when his wife is away.

“I texted her the other night asking if I could watch Broadchurch,” O’Leary said.

“Despite the fact that I had texted her five or six times that day, asking how she was and hadn’t heard anything back, she came back within 15 seconds with: ‘No, you cannot’.”

Published: Tuesday 13th January 2015 by The News Editor

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