loves and hates
Dermot O’leary, 44, has written his first children’s book, Toto the Ninja Cat and the Great Snake Escape. He lives in London with wife dee Koppang
On the inspiration behind the book... i really enjoyed the process of writing my memoir, The Soundtrack to My Life. then my wife and i rescued two cats, toto and Silver. toto’s been blind from birth but with incredible reactions. if you were playing around she could lash out with her claws, super swift. i thought it would make a lovely idea for a book: that one cat is a lovely, mild-mannered kitten during the day – and then a ninja by night!
On returning to The X Factor... i went back last year [as host] because Simon [Cowell] asked me; i missed it. i think part of live tV is being yourself, and there are few programmes that offer you the chance to do that. The X Factor feels like a family with the whole team, including the judging panel.
On staying grounded... i think it’s recognising that what i do is like anything else – it’s like a trade or craft. even now, on The X Factor after so many years, i feel i’m still learning.
On my plan B... i love broadcasting and hosting, but if i wasn’t doing this, i think i’d be a chef, or front-of-house in a restaurant. Catering and bar work are similar to live tV – it’s kind of showbiz. You’ve only got one shot, and it’s your job to make sure your audience leave satisfied, happy and entertained.
toto the ninja Cat and the Great Snake escape (Hodder Children’s Books) is out now. Also available as an audiobook narrated by Dermot.
My loves… Terry Wogan
Growing up, he was always my idol. There was such great intimacy with Wogan – you can work on the technique, but you either have that or you don’t.
l love all kinds, including seafood, but North Atlantic prawns and mackerel are probably my favourite.
Dee and I have a little house there in the middle of nowhere. It’s wild countryside and great for getting away from it all. Plus, there are so many great places to swim in the sea.
My favourites are Game of Thrones, Line of Duty and House of Cards.
My hates… oliVes
I want to get my head around them, but I just can’t do it.
It’s the one thing that I’d get rid of in the world. Right now, there’s more that unites us than divides us.
I want that thing Hermione Granger has, where she twiddles knobs and goes back in time.
nurses being underPaid
I’d give nurses a big, fat pay rise if I could. I know it’s a crowdpleaser, but you can’t help the way you feel! w&h