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O’Leary: I would never do Strictly

Dermot O’Leary has opened up about some of his reasons for leaving The X Factor.

The 42-year-old announced his departure from hosting The X Factor earlier this year after eight years. And now the star admits he is free to try his hand at a number of different things, but dancing won’t be one of them.

“Not doing the X Factor has made me step out of my comfort zone,” he told British magazine Heat. “[But] I won’t be going on Strictly. They have two very good hosts and it’s a brilliant show. I still have The X Factor in my blood – I love the show, so I’d never be a competitor on Strictly.”

Since making his shock announcement, Dermot has appeared on panel show QI and featured in BBC3 programme Murder in Successville. And the star admits to Heat that he hopes to continue to branch out away from reality show formulas.

“Over the next couple of months, I’ve got a history show about the Battle of Britain for Channel 4; I’m working on an interview show on iPlayer and I’ve just done a pilot for BBC TV,” he explained. “I’m a live host, I like interviewing people but I’m doing a few other things as well.”

While Caroline Flack and Olly Murs have been revealed as Dermot’s hosting replacements, the judging panel for this year’s series of the singing competition has yet to be unveiled. However Dermot didn’t have much of an opinion about who should fill the seats.

“I don’t know. It was like this after Big Brother – when I quit, I quit,” he said. “A lot of my friends quit The X Factor, which is one of the reasons why I left. [But] I think Nick [Grimshaw] would be a good judge.”

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