Another year, another new look for the X Factor. Once the goliath of reality TV, attracting over 14 million viewers in its heyday in 2010, the X Factor’s shining star has most definitely fallen in recent years.
The show has since tried to claw back viewers who have defected to Strictly, with Simon Cowell implementing a series of (mostly failed) format changes and a whole new panel of judges in a bid to win the Saturday night ratings war once again.
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This year is no exception, with the show going through its most dramatic overhaul yet: the usual civilian version of the X Factor has now been shelved, replaced by both a celebrity and champions version, featuring memorable former contestants.
But in spite of all its changes, you can depend on one thing – Dermot O’Leary will be returning as the X Factor host.
O’Leary has been the frontman of the show since he replaced Kate Thornton in 2007, only bowing out for 2015 when he was replaced by Caroline Flack and Olly Murs.
“Back this year, yes,” he said when quizzed about his role on the new X Factor by Metro.co.uk. “That’s as much as I know.”
While remaining tight-lipped over any further details, he revealed that the team “are pretty excited” about the show’s format change.
“Nothing surprises me particularly because the show never rests on its laurels,” O’Leary said. “There’s always an evolution every year.
“As someone that’s been there a very long time, it takes up a great part of my year, and I have a great fondness for it. I love it. You see so many changes down the years, you’re never really surprised.
“The chats I have had with the team [about the format change], everyone’s pretty excited about it.”
While no names have been officially confirmed for the Celebrity X Factor, David Walliams, Amanda Holden and a Love Island supergroup are all rumoured to be taking part.
Elsewhere, Wagner (no surname necessary) and Honey G are both keen to return for a Champions edition.
With Robbie Williams and Ayda Field confirmed not to be serving as judges, it has since been reported that Louis Walsh and Nicole Scherzinger are now in “advanced talks” to return. This year only three judges will appear on the panel, including Simon Cowell. It's set to be a busy season for Simon, with the music mogul also starring on Britain’s Got Talent: The Champions later this year.
The X Factor returns to ITV later this year