Dermot O'Leary reveals all about The X Factor: The Band

The X Factor The Band Dermot O'Leary
(Image credit: ITV)

The X Factor is kicking off the search for a new boy band or girl group to be a big as One Direction or Little Mix. Host Dermot O’Leary reveals more…

The X Factor has provided the launch-pad for some of the world’s most successful groups with the likes of One Direction, Little Mix, JLS and, in the US, Fifth Harmony selling more than 400 million records. Show boss Simon Cowell is now on the hunt for the next big pop group to sign to his record label to follow in their footsteps.

The X Factor: The Band will travel the length and breadth of the UK to find the best solo singers. Those who stand out will be invited to audition at Sony’s London HQ in front of The X Factor judges, who’ll select girls and boys to form two bands just like they did with Little Mix and One Direction. Both groups will then battle it out to be crowned The Band.

Host Dermot O'Leary, 46, tells us more about The X Factor: The Band…

What can you tell us about The X Factor: The Band?

"Simon Cowell and The X Factor have discovered some of the biggest pop groups in recent music history; One Direction, Fifth Harmony, Little Mix – they’re all stars and have sold millions of records! So, for this series, we’re scouring the country to find the best solo singers to put together into two bands – one girl group and one boy group!"

X Factor The Band Simon Cowell

Will Simon be able to discover the next Little Mix or One Direction?

What makes this series different to what we may have seen previously on The X Factor?

"In previous years, you’ve seen the judges put individual singers into a group – usually with their decision-making and reasoning off-camera – but this time people will get to see the process take place. The judges will select girls and boys to form new bands, just like they did with One Direction and Little Mix, then both bands will go head to head to be crowned the winning group with a live arena finale in Birmingham!"

We’ll see the bands being put together across just three pre-recorded shows. Can it be done?

"Well, they’ll certainly be up against it, as they’re not giving the bands much time. But if anyone can do it, we can do it.

Are you looking forward to heading to Birmingham for the final?

"It’s always nice to get out and take the show around the country. We did the final in Manchester a few years ago, which went really well. It’s always nice to get out and see other places and you get a full sense of the whole country being involved as well. I'm looking forward to it!"

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You must feel so proud, being there at the start, just as the careers of bands like One Direction and Little Mix took off…

"I’m incredibly proud. The most exciting thing is to see them grow as people and turn into artists. I love it when they come back and we get to see how they've progressed in the last year or so. You feel very proud. And it’s the same on the radio show, you feel very proud you can give people a leg up."

What’s the best and worst thing about hosting The X Factor?

"The best thing is that you never know who’s coming round the corner. I like people: meeting them and interviewing them. And then hosting a primetime show is just wonderful. I think saying goodbye to acts you've grown quite close to is hard. That's probably the toughest thing."

What are the challenges when The X Factor goes live?

"It’s very exciting. A lot of live telly is actually quite predictable, and it doesn’t really need to be live. The unpredictability of The X Factor is one of the best things about it!"

The X Factor: The Band starts on Monday December 9 at 8.30pm and continues on Wednesday and Friday, with the final on Sunday December 15 on ITV.

Victoria Wilson
Feature Writer for What’s on TV, TV Times, TV & Satellite Week and

With over 20 years’ experience writing about TV and film, Vicky currently writes features for What’s on TV, TV Times, TV & Satellite Week magazines plus news and watching guides for, a job which involves chatting to a whole host of famous faces. Our Vicky LOVES light entertainment, with Strictly Come Dancing, Britain’s Got Talent and The Voice UK among her fave shows. Basically, if it’s got a shiny floor, she’s all over it! When she’s not watching TV, you might find Vicky in therapy… retail therapy that is!