Simon Cowell: Dermot O'Leary's X Factor departure was a 'misunderstanding'
Simon Cowell says Dermot O'Leary's departure from 'The X Factor' was a "misunderstanding".
The 56-year-old music mogul admits the pair were being "stubborn" but is thrilled the 42-year-old television presenter is returning to hosting duties on the ITV show.
He said: "He came out to see me in Los Angeles. He may have thought it was going to be an awkward meeting but it was one of the easiest I've have ever had. I think there was probably a misunderstanding.
"I thought he wanted to go and he probably thought I wanted him to leave. Neither of us, being stubborn, spoke to each other and then we realised that we miss him. So I told him that and it was a really fun hour or two we spent together."
And Simon thinks it is best that Dermot had some time away from the talent show as "people will appreciate him more" now he is back.
He added: "He has some good ideas about the show. He is coming back very positive and confident. In a strange way I think it may have done him good to be off the show for a year because people will appreciate him more when he is back. We have done most of the groundwork now and have made some fun changes to X Factor which you will see this year.
"I think it will improve the show. It is going to feel very different from last year. But it will remind you of the things you used to love in previous years."
And Simon is happy to shake up this year's judging panel as it was "clear" to him that the fans didn't like the line up of himself, Cheryl, Nick Grimshaw and Rita Ora.
He told the Daily Mirror newspaper: "It was clear to me when the show started that the fans didn't like last year's X Factor panel. You can't ignore them."