Dermot O'Leary quits as X Factor host
Dermot O’Leary has announced that he is quitting his role as host of the X Factor after eight years.
Rumours have circulated for several week suggest O’Leary may not return to his X Factor lead rile and confirmed his time on the show was up in an announcement on Twitter.
Good afternoon. After eight wonderful years on @TheXFactor it's time for me to move on.— Dermot O'Leary (@radioleary) March 27, 2015
I'd like to thank ITV, Simon, The X Factor family and particularly the viewers, all of whom have been a big part of my life for so long.— Dermot O'Leary (@radioleary) March 27, 2015
I'd like to wish the team all the best for the future, especially whoever takes over from me.— Dermot O'Leary (@radioleary) March 27, 2015
X Factor judge Louis Walsh gave sundayworld.com this reaction to O’Leary’s exit, as he was quick to praise the English-born presenter who has always been so very proud of his Irish heritage.
“Dermot was just great to have around the show,” Louis told us exclusively. “He was always so great with the artists and such a professional. He will be missed, but the show goes on.”
Earlier this week, bookmakers William Hill had O'Leary as 6-1 to replace the sacked Jeremy Clarkson on BBC's Top Gear with only fellow DJ Chris Evans and Jodie Kidd ahead of him in the betting.
Emma Willis is being strongly tipped to replace O'Leary on X Factor, with former contestant Olly Murs also believed to be a contender for a show that has yet to confirm its judging line-up for 2015.
With ratings sliding last year, O'Leary's exit may see a big shake up in the identity of the show, as creator-in-chief Simon Cowell looks to reinvent the show that has generated millions of pounds for ITV down the years and also helped to launch the careers of stars such as Leona Lewis and One Direction.