The mistake Factor: Dermot O'Leary reveals how Simon Cowell won him over
Dermot O'Leary is back hosting The X Factor one year after being replaced. He reveals how music mogul Simon Cowell lured him back...
There's been a lot of speculation about how and why Dermot O'Leary left The X Factor last year - and why and how he was tempted back. Finally presenter Dermot has revealed everything to The Sun.
It turns out Dermy was asked to return to the show during a midnight phone call from Simon Cowell, who admitted he had made a mistake in letting O’Leary go!
Dermot will return to host the singing competition when the 13th series begins next weekend.
He had been replaced for one series by Olly Murs and Caroline Flack.
The presenter told The Sun he got a late-night call in February from Simon, who told him: “I’ve made a mistake, I’d love to get you back.”
After the discussion, Dermot got a flight to Hollywood to meet Simon. He said: “It was a lot less awkward than I thought it was going to be.
“Simon and I spoke about where we thought the show had lost its way and how to bring the heart and soul back. That was key for me.”
Dermot, 43, has reportedly signed a lucrative new contract with the ITV show but told the newspaper that money was not a factor in his decision to return.
He said: “I’ve been like that since I was a runner on nine-and-a-half grand a year. I’ve never taken a job purely for the money.
“With The X Factor it was, ‘What would make you come back? What would you like to do with the show?’ I didn’t worry about money.”
Dermot admitted he was forced to leave the hit series after hearing bosses were “looking at other presenters” — including his eventual replacement Olly, who was paired with Caroline.
He said: “I don’t have a God-given right to that job.
“But I always said, ‘If I find out they are talking to anyone else, I’m not going to play games, I’ll just go’.
“So I called my wife and woke her up to tell her I was leaving The X Factor — which was a shock, as you can imagine. Then I went home, took a shower, went in and the rest played out.
“I called ITV and actually didn’t speak to Simon. I texted Simon and got a lovely text back but at the time I wanted to keep that at arm’s length.”
Dermot will return to the line-up along with judges Simon, Louis Walsh, Sharon Osbourne and Nicole Scherzinger.
Hands up who's happy Dermot has returned?
Get the What to Watch Newsletter
The latest updates, reviews and unmissable series to watch and more!
With twenty years of experience as an entertainment journalist, Elaine writes for What’s on TV, TV Times, TV & Satellite Week and www.whattowatch.com covering a variety of programs from gardening and wildlife to documentaries and drama.
As well as active involvement in the WTW family’s social media accounts, she has been known to get chatty on the red carpet and wander into the odd podcast.
After a day of previewing TV, writing about TV and interviewing TV stars, Elaine likes nothing than to relax… by watching TV.