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.