So this is it, tonight the end of another series of The X Factor will roll around. The winner will be crowned, everyone will stop making the ‘X’ shape with their arms and host Dermot O’Leary can stop doing his “Your Saturday night starts right here” spin. But does the long-standing host – who is adored for his meaningful hugs and banter with head judge Simon Cowell (and by myself in particular for his dancing) – see an end point to his time on the show?
“No, I don’t think so,” he tells RadioTimes.com. “I sort of take it year-on-year. I sign [a contract] year-on-year quite deliberately because of that.
“Do you know what? If they don’t want me to do it next year, I’ve been blessed to have eight great years,” he adds.
He’s still enjoying it, mind. “It’s pretty much eight full-on months of the year – there’s no way I could do this if I didn’t like it.”
Indeed, O’Leary is backstage with the acts from their very first in-room auditions. A shoulder to cry on, someone to leap on when things go right, someone for nan to chat to…
It seems like there must come a point in the series when the host is ready to rip his hair out, perhaps as another week of yelling at the judges to Make. A. Decision trundles along. But actually, O’Leary says the only thing that gets annoying as a result of the series is being late to everything.
“You’re always late because that run to the dry cleaners, that run to the supermarket or the corner store goes from ten minutes to half an hour because people want to talk about the show.
“That’s lovely and I never get bored of talking about the show, but it’s that moment for three months that I’m late for everything and I hate that,” he explains.
Ultimately, however, O’Leary’s enjoying standing on that X: “I love working on the show. You know that generations watch together. I’ve worked on so many shows that hardly anyone watches, so to do a show that sort of everyone knows about it quite something.”
See The X Factor final tonight at 8:30pm on ITV