It’s official: Olly Murs and Caroline Flack will co-host this year’s series of X Factor.
The announcement follows three weeks of speculation after Dermot O’Leary stepped down as the show’s long-standing frontman in March.
It’s the first time a duo has presented the show but they’re no strangers to The X Factor. Olly was a contestant back in 2009, placing second under Simon Cowell’s guidance. He and Caroline then went on to co-host the ITV2 spin-off show Xtra Factor from 2011 to 2012. Olly also popped back in 2013 to be a guest judge alongside Gary Barlow.
Last year Caroline jumped ship to BBC1 to compete on rival Saturday night reality show Strictly Come Dancing (which she went on to win), but she’s being welcomed back with open arms.
“I am absolutely delighted Caroline and Olly are both returning to The X Factor”, said Simon.” When they were on Xtra together they were a brilliant double act. Since then, Caroline’s gone from strength to strength – and Olly has become one of Britain’s biggest stars. So now I’m looking forward to them fronting the main show.”
Caroline herself say she’s “beyond excited”, adding: “To have the privilege of doing this with someone who makes me laugh out loud is a massive bonus!” And she’s not forgotten about ol’ Derms. “I’m also incredibly lucky to have the best tips and support from my showbiz big brother Dermot. I’m not sure how I can live up to his long-term residency, but I know I can’t let him down!”
Olly says he loves the show which “kick-started” his career. “I already have the best job in the world and it’s about to get better – I can’t wait to get started and be part of finding some amazing new talent!”
The duo will be on hand during auditions, the dreaded Six Chair Challenge, Judges’ Houses and of course the live shows. As reported yesterday, Caroline will have to juggle her new job with hosting ITV2’s revamped Love Island this summer.
Whether this also means the return of familiar faces to the judging panel – previous guest judge Rita Ora is among those rumoured – remains to be seen. Simon Cowell and Cheryl Fernandez-Versini seem like the only dead certs. Or perhaps Louis Walsh will once again u-turn on his hints he’s leaving…
The X Factor returns later this year on ITV