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Dermot O'Leary: 'I might be leaving X Factor'

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Dermot O'Leary

Dermot O'Leary

PA

Dermot O'Leary

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

The former Big Brother's Little Brother presenter took over in 2007 after Kate Thornton was axed by Simon Cowell.

But O'Leary (41) said he could be tempted by a new challenge.

Asked if he had signed up for the next series, he said: "Not yet. Usually we talk in about mid-February.

"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."

O'Leary blamed the X Factor's falling viewing figures on the length of the ITV show, won last year 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 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 next morning.

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

He said 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 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. It's rated really well, and it's beaten us the past couple of years. But then again, Bake Off's probably beating both of us."

O'Leary married girlfriend Dee Koppang in 2012 after 10 years together.

Herald

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