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

Woman & Home - - Editor's Letter -

der­mot o’leary

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.

Fish

l love all kinds, in­clud­ing seafood, but North At­lantic prawns and mack­erel are prob­a­bly my favourite.

Puglia, iTaly

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.

TV dra­mas

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.

racial in­Tol­er­ance

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.

Time-WasT­ing

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

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