Dermot O’Leary leaving the X Factor pours a big bucket of cold water on the show

"How exactly will I know when my Saturday night starts?" Emma Daly ponders the sour news that Dermot has stepped down as presenter after eight years at the helm of Simon Cowell's karaoke mega-hit

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Well, my Saturday nights won’t start the same way this autumn- Dermot O’Leary has left the X Factor.

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He won’t be spinning onto the stage, he won’t be teasing the judges, he blooming well won’t be dancing… although I did promise I’d never mention that again after his 24-hour charity dance. He said he’d call my mum. Sorry, Dermot.

Derms has been at the helm of the good ship X Factor for eight years after taking over from Kate Thornton in 2007. Eight years of Dermot hugs. Eight years of Dermot getting more and more feisty with the judges. He can argue with Simon Cowell no sweat. He can seemingly call Louis Walsh whatever he darn well wants… we’re going to be going back to square one with a new presenter and it just doesn’t feel right. I certainly won’t get away with asking them about their trousers being so tight

It’s in a year that’s going to see big changes to the X Factor, what with the Rugby World Cup looking like it’ll send some of the show’s Saturday night episodes spinning off goodness knows where. It would have been nice to have a familiar face guiding us through these turbulent times. A Dermot screen-hug would have been even more important. 

Perhaps Derms just wants to watch the rugby? Or he’s off to dazzle on Strictly? No, I jest. I promise I’m not talking about dancing.

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Dermot himself has offered his luck to the person who’s taking over next. The conductor of the “runaway train”, as he describes it. They’ve got big shoes to fill. Big dancing shoes. No, no. No dancing. Honestly, what will I campaign for now…?