Dermot O'Leary 'excited' to return to The X Factor after year away


Dermot O'Leary is returning "home" to The X Factor, a year after he left the ITV talent series.

The 42-year-old broadcaster, much loved for his dance routines on the hit show, has said he is "excited to be back" as presenter.

X Factor boss Simon Cowell added: "Dermot's back, hooray! And so is his dancing! Welcome home, Dermot."

O'Leary, who had been a mainstay of Cowell's show for eight years, departed in 2015 saying it was "time for me to move on".

However, the star has now said he is "really looking forward" to the forthcoming instalment.

"I'm very flattered to be asked back to The X Factor, and am currently dusting off my dancing shoes," O'Leary stated. 

"There is nothing more exciting than hosting live TV on a Saturday night. The show is naturally very close to my heart, after having hosted it for eight years. 

"I'm really looking forward to it, and excited to be back."

Olly Murs and Caroline Flack, one-time presenters of X Factor's sister show The Xtra Factor, attempted to step into O'Leary's shoes in 2015.

But their tenure was marked by falling audience figures - with BBC rival Strictly Come Dancing frequently triumphing in the ratings - and a number of gaffes.

During the live final won by teenager Louisa Johnson, technical issues left the duo exposed on stage, and earlier in the live shows run, chart-topping singer Murs prematurely announced the exit of contestant Monica Michael.

Fans who called for O'Leary's return will welcome the BBC Radio 2 DJ's familiar "Your Saturday night starts right here" catchphrase and twirl.

Another favourite making a comeback for 2016 is the room auditions.

Wannabe pop stars will find themselves face to face in front of the judges in an intimate setting.

If they impress three or more of the judges, they will move on to the next stage of the competition.

Thames TV managing director and interim FremantleMedia UK CEO Richard Holloway said: "Dermot is a much-loved part of The X Factor and one of the best presenters in the business.

"We're thrilled he's back on board for our new series."

ITV Director of Television Kevin Lygo said: "ITV has an enviable raft of entertainment formats, and a fantastic range of talented presenters. 

"The X Factor, and Dermot, are an important part of the ITV family, and we're really looking forward to welcoming them back to our screens this autumn."

The X Factor has discovered and shaped a number of big stars over the years.

To date, One Direction - who finished third in 2010 - have sold 70 million records worldwide.

Murs featured in the 2009 run and ended up in second place to Joe McElderry. He has so far achieved success with four multi-platinum albums.

Little Mix, who became the first group to win in 2011, have sold 3.3 million albums globally.

Last year's winner Johnson is currently working on her debut album.

The X Factor will return to ITV later this year alongside The Xtra Factor on ITV2.

The ITV series is currently looking for the next big music star.

Acts can apply via and can audition either by submitting a video or by attending a mobile or open audition.

The open audition tour will be visiting eight cities, starting on April 7 at Hampden Park in Glasgow followed by Birmingham, Cardiff, Dublin, Newcastle, London, Manchester and Liverpool.