Tuesday 11 December 2018

Dermot O’Leary backs The X Factor to run for another 10 years

He said he would like to see the ratings return to eight million.

The X Factor Press Launch – London
The X Factor Press Launch – London

By Laura Harding, Press Association Senior Entertainment Correspondent

The X Factor could run for another 10 years, host Dermot O’Leary has predicted.

The TV star has said the show will continue as long as talented people audition to be on it.

The singing competition has suffered in the ratings in recent years and, while it was once neck and neck with Saturday night rival Strictly Come Dancing, the BBC show has pulled significantly ahead.

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Final time...

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During its 2017 series the dancing show was pulling in more than 10 million viewers, while The X Factor was only drawing half as many.

O’Leary told the Radio Times: “Does it hurt? Um, I’d love to get back up to eight million again.

“You want to rate well, of course you do.”

However, he thinks the show could last another decade, adding: “As long as the talent keeps coming, yeah. And the talent keeps showing up.”

The presenter said the level of talent was so high in the 2017 series, when many contestants wrote their own material, that he wishes they had auditioned in earlier years.

He joked: “I was really annoyed with some of the people this year, cos I was like, ‘Why didn’t you audition last year?’”

He added: “When I first started people would turn up and say, ‘tell me who you want me to be’.

“Now you get people going, ‘Here’s my first album, here’s my YouTube channel’, and the show’s become a facilitator for that, and that’s a good thing.”

While Strictly continues to dominate the ratings, O’Leary said he is not among its viewers.

The host claims he has never seen the show because he is always on the air when it is on TV.

When asked why he does not watch on iPlayer, he said: “No. That would be a sense of betrayal.”

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Radio Times is out now.

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