As soon as the X Factor finishes, thoughts move on to the next series: will the judges stay the same? Will we get another Stevi Ritchie? And will Dermot O’Leary return as host?
“I haven’t made up my mind yet,” the long-standing presenter tells Radio Times magazine.
“I love doing [X Factor] and it’s a huge part of my life. But it’s eight years now.
O’Leary concludes, teasingly: “If a new challenge came up that meant I couldn’t do both, then… But while I’m still enjoying it, I want to carry on doing it.”
Indeed, in December the huggable host told us, “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.”
O’Leary’s not worried about slipping viewing figures or the ongoing battle with the BBC’s Saturday night entertainment juggernaut Strictly Come Dancing.
“The way people watch X Factor is very different to the way people watch Strictly. A lot of our audience know that they can go out on a Saturday night and watch it on catch-up, or the kids go to bed and they watch it as a family the following morning.
“I don’t know if the audiences overlap as much as we all think they do,” he adds. “The competition’s healthy.”
So when will we – ahem, we mean – he know about this year’s series? “Usually we talk in about mid-February.”
Meanwhile, as well as his regular Radio 2 show, O’Leary will be back on our screens next Wednesday evening to host the National Television Awards.
See the full list of NTA nominees here
Read the full interview with Dermot O’Leary in this week’s Radio Times magazine, on sale from Tuesday 13th January