Dermot O'Leary negotiated a later start time for his X Factor return


Dermot O'Leary negotiated a later daily starting time in his contract for his return as The X Factor's presenter.

Referring to the long working days during the initial audition phase of the ITV programme, he said: "My return was skilfully negotiated around a slightly later call time, which I cherish!"

He added: "When you get your head around the fact you're going to work until 2am then it's fine, I don't mind working till 2am as long as I don't have to start at 8am the next day."

Dermot O'Leary
The X Factor's returning presenter Dermot O'Leary (Thames / Syco Entertainment)

The popular presenter confessed to originally having reservations about returning but said he missed being a part of the "national conversation and culture".

An "emotional attachment" to The X Factor also drew him back.

Dermot said: "I felt like I had drawn a line in the sand. Then I gave myself some time to think about it and I realised I had missed the live shows (and) I missed the team.

"Like any job, if you do it for eight years it becomes ingrained in you. I love making a Saturday night entertainment show and there aren't many around."

The X Factor
Behind the scenes on The X Factor (Thames / Syco Entertainment)

During his time away from the show, Dermot gave advice to hosts Caroline Flack and Olly Murs, who took over the presenting role following his departure in 2015.

The duo had previously hosted spin-off show The Xtra Factor together.

"I spoke to Caroline and Olly a lot, even before they took the gig I spoke to them and told them they should take the job," he said.

Caroline Flack and Olly Murs
Last year's X Factor hosts Caroline Flack and Olly Murs (Philip Toscano / PA Archive/ PA Images)

"I also told them what they should expect when they do take the job, it's not The Xtra Factor, it comes with a certain pressure and level of focus.

"It's TV presenting, it does require a level of concentration when you do a big live show. So I chatted to them about that."