Simon Cowell 'missed' Dermot O'Leary on X Factor

Dermot O'Leary has confirmed he is returning to host 'The X Factor' once again, and he is thought ot have signed a £1.5 million deal to reprise the role he held for eight years

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Dermot O'Leary

Dermot O'Leary

Dermot O'Leary was asked to return to 'The X Factor' because Simon Cowell "missed him like the fans".

The 42-year-old TV presenter confirmed last night (28.03.16) he is returning to host the talent show - which he fronted for eight years until quitting 12 months ago - and the star is thought to have signed a £1.5 million deal to reprise the role.

A source told the Daily Mirror newspaper: "Simon made it clear he missed Dermot like the fans, it makes sense for everyone for him to return and the show is now in safe hands.

"Dermot makes the live shows look easy."

The TV presenter will replace co-hosts Caroline Flack and Olly Murs - who faced online criticism by some fans of the programme during the live shows - and admitted he was "flattered" to have been approached to take the reins again.

He said: "I'm very flattered to be asked back to 'The X Factor', and am currently dusting off my dancing shoes. There is nothing more exciting than hosting live TV on a Saturday night.

"The show is naturally very close to my heart, after having hosted it for eight years. I'm really looking forward to it, and excited to be back."

Simon added: "Dermot's back! Hooray! And so is his dancing! Welcome home Dermot."

As well as Dermot's return, this year' series will also see the first-round auditions taking place in an intimate room setting in front of the judges once again, rather than in an arena.

But the return of Dermot and the room auditions may not be a coincidence as the TV presenter admitted in January he thought that stage of the programme should be back.

He said: "The room auditions are great. For me it was always room, arena, boot camp."

However, Dermot also thought the show should take a one-year break.

The star explained: "If I was Simon I'd probably take it off air for a year. I'd rest it, and then I'd get back to the rooms.

"Also I was really uncomfortable about the Six-Chair Challenge. I don't think it's a particularly nice bit of television."

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