I might need a new chal­lenge after eight years on show

Midweek Sport - - NEWS - By REX ROW­LANDS rex@sun­

Host Der­mot O’Leary has cast doubt on his

X Fac­tor fu­ture – say­ing that he might not re­turn this year.

The ex- Big Brother’s Lit­tle Brother pre­sen­ter took over in 2007, after Kate Thorn­ton was axed by Si­mon Cow­ell.

But Der­mot, 41, said that he could be tempted by a new chal­lenge. Asked if he had signed up for the 12th se­ries, he told Ra­dio Times: “Not yet. Usu­ally we talk in about mid-Fe­bru­ary. “Of course 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.

“If a new chal­lenge came up that meant I couldn’t do both, then... But while I’m still en­joy­ing it, I want to carry on.”

Der­mot blamed The X Fac­tor’s fall­ing view­ing fig­ures on the length of the ITV show, last won 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 that 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 the fol­low­ing morn­ing.

“It’s a long show, to ask peo­ple to watch two-and-a-half hours is never easy.”

He said that 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”.

“Well done to Strictly, they’ve got a suc­cess­ful show. It’s rated re­ally well, and it’s beaten us for the past cou­ple of years. But then again, Bake Off’s prob­a­bly beat­ing both of us!”

EX FAC­TOR? Host Der­mot

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