Belfast Telegraph

Dermot says goodbye to X Factor

Dermot O'Leary has left his presenting role on The X Factor, saying it is "time for me to move on".

The star, who has been a mainstay of the hit ITV talent show for eight years and also presents a show on Radio 2, thanked show supremo Simon Cowell.

He said: " After eight wonderful years on The X Factor it's time for me to move on. I'd like to thank ITV, Simon, The X Factor family and particularly the viewers, all of whom have been a big part of my life for so long.

"I'd like to wish the team all the best for the future, especially whoever takes over from me. You're about to be the conductor on the most brilliant, runaway train in showbiz. Good luck you'll love it!"

Earlier this week, bookmakers William Hill had O'Leary as 6-1 to replace Jeremy Clarkson on Top Gear with only fellow DJ Chris Evans and Jodie Kidd ahead of him in the betting.

O'Leary raised more than half a million pounds for Comic Relief this month by taking part in a 24-hour dance marathon .

Ladbrokes bookmakers have made singer Olly Murs the favourite to replace O'Leary on The X Factor.

He is ahead of American Idol host Ryan Seacrest and former JLS star Marvin Humes in the betting.

An ITV spokesman said: "Dermot's been a fantastic host of The X Factor for the past eight series and we're sorry to see him go. We wish him all the very best for the future and hope that he'll be back on ITV screens soon."

An X Factor spokesman said : "We'd like to thank Dermot for eight brilliant years at the helm of The X Factor. He has been a fantastic host, masterfully keeping the show on the road, supporting the contestants throughout the competition and keeping the judges in check. We will miss him and his dance moves and wish him all the best for the future.

"An announcement on the host for the new series will be made in due course."

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