Sunday 21 January 2018

Dermot O'Leary 'would never want to be Top Gear host'

Dermot O'Leary was originally rumoured to be up for the co-host role alongside Chris Evans
Dermot O'Leary was originally rumoured to be up for the co-host role alongside Chris Evans

X Factor host Dermot O'Leary has said he would never want to be a Top Gear host as it is a "tough gig".

O'Leary, who is back to hosting the ITV talent contest after stepping down last year, was initially rumoured to be in the running to become Chris Evans's co-presenter.

Evans quashed those rumours during his BBC Radio 2 breakfast show, instead choosing hosts including Matt LeBlanc and Sabine Schmitz.

O'Leary, 43, told Digital Spy: "If we're honest, even though I enjoy parts of the show, it's not a job that I've ever wanted, so I've never sort of been pushing my guys to go for it and similarly I don't think I'm the right fit for it."

On those rumours, he explained: "I just think if you're on telly and Paddy Power and William Hill have got enough time on their hands, you'll get round to being in the running!

"But it's nothing that's ever come from us."

Earlier this month, Evans stepped down amidst disappointing ratings, tweeting as he left the show after just one series: "Gave it my best shot but sometimes that's not enough."

O'Leary said it was difficult for Evans to take over the show from former presenter Jeremy Clarkson, who fronted Top Gear alongside Richard Hammond and James May.

He said: "Tough gig, I mean, Jesus! I wouldn't want it now!

"It's not necessarily a poisoned chalice, but when you lead a show that's been defined by its host it's always difficult.

"Chris is a brilliant broadcaster so if anyone could have made it work he was going to make it work."

In January, O'Leary launched a BBC game show, The Getaway Car, alongside Top Gear's The Stig.

Fans will see him back on The X Factor later this year.

Press Association

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