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Ulster-born voice of X Factor quits after 11 years

By Amanda Ferguson

Northern Ireland voiceover legend Peter Dickson has quit The X Factor after 11 years on the show.

Dickson's familiar, booming voice will no longer be featured on Simon Cowell's ITV programme.

London-based Peter, a former pupil of Belfast Royal Academy who grew up in the city, shared his departure news on Twitter yesterday with his 30,000 followers.

"After the best 11 years with the X Factor, it's time for me to check out and cut loose," he wrote.

Dickson is the latest star to end their time working on the popular television singing contest.

Host Dermot O'Leary recently announced he was quitting after eight years at the helm.

He is being replaced by Caroline Flack and Ollie Murs.

Irish music manager Louis Walsh and former Spice Girls singer Mel B have also left the judging panel, leaving pop mogul Simon Cowell and former Girls Aloud singer Cheryl Fernandez-Versini on the line-up with BBC broadcaster Nick Grimshaw and pop singer Rita Ora.

X Factor fans say the show won't be the same without Dickson's disctinctive voice.

"A massive loss for the programme. It will never be the same without you Peter. #NewHorizons," one fan wrote online.

Another added: "And what an incredible line-up of names you must have boomed out over that time? What a legendary trail to leave! Good luck @peterdickson". Dickson began his broadcasting career at the BBC as the corporation's youngest TV news presenter, aged just 17.

The 58-year-old has not revealed what his plans are for the future.

He also does voiceover work for Cowell's other ITV shows Britain's Got Talent, plus Family Fortunes, Live At the Apollo and All Star Mr & Mrs.

In an interview with the Big Issue two years ago Dickson explained he loved the anonymity that came with his job.

"When The X Factor is on more than 100 million people per week hear my voice," he said in the interview.

"Combined with all the radio, TV shows and commercials I do, maybe that's an underestimation.

"While my voice is very famous and identifiable, nobody knows what I look like - thank goodness.

"I couldn't imagine what it would be like to be really, really famous, living your life in a gilded cage.

"What an awful price to pay for just doing your job."

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