What better way to make your staff feel appreciated after they’ve done a good job than by buying them a gift? It’s management 101, right?
And that’s exactly what Dermot O’Leary’s boss Simon Cowell did at the end of an X Factor series – but it wasn’t quite the the timely compliment that he was expecting…
“Thirty seconds before we go live [for the final], Simon goes, ‘Thanks a lot for the series’ and you open it and go, ‘Oh.’ It was a voucher for Harrods Spa I suppose,” explained Dermot. “But then it had the name of the botox guy beneath it. Great, thirty seconds before we go live…”
So, did he cash it in? “No, I did not!” he laughed.
But it’s not the only strange gift Cowell’s presented. One year the music mogul’s surprise present was even more personal – yes, an autographed picture of himself.
“It was signed ‘Hey D, Love Si.’ It’s extraordinary,” added Dermot.
O’Leary’s hung onto it, but admits sometimes it has to be hidden away.
“Whenever work men and stuff come round my wife freaks out and she has to try and hide it somewhere as she thinks it just looks really weird if they don’t know I live there, thinking, ‘Why do you have a picture of Simon Cowell on your mantelpiece?’”
And as you might imagine, the radio host has now given up trying to seek out impressive gifts in return…
“What do you get him? It’s difficult. I tracked down some wine from the day he was born and I was really proud of it. That was the year I got a picture of him. I was like, er, I might not put as much effort in next time.”
The X Factor final takes place this Saturday (8:30pm) and Sunday (8:00pm) on ITV