Dermot O'Leary tells Simon Cowell to give X Factor a break

Roisin O'Connor
Tuesday 12 January 2016 13:32
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Dermot O'Leary attends the X Factor Wembley Arena auditions at Wembley on August 1, 2014 in London, England.
Dermot O'Leary attends the X Factor Wembley Arena auditions at Wembley on August 1, 2014 in London, England.

Dermot O’Leary has told Simon Cowell that X Factor should take a break for a year and undo the changes that have been made to the show.

O’Leary, who presented the show for eight years and stepped down ahead of the series in 2015, told Radio Times that he would "rest it, and then get back to the rooms".

"For me it was always room [auditions], arena, boot camp," he added.

Rita Ora with her The X Factor co-presenters Nick Grimshaw, Cheryl Fernadez-Versini and Simon Cowell

He said he was also "really uncomfortable" about the Six Chair Challenge, introduced on the most recent series, which sees contestants perform to get chosen then deselected in front of the live audience.

"I don’t think it’s a particularly nice bit of television. One of the reasons people like Strictly is because it is a very warm show, and I think you’ve got to keep that in mind."

Louisa Johnson on The X Factor

X Factor began its most recent series with a record low audience of 5.6 million, and was dogged by incidents such as a slip up by new presenter Olly Murs and several claims the show was "fixed".

Winner Louisa Johnson then went on to sell just 39,000 copies with her single, a cover of Bob Dylan’s "Forever Young" - considerably lower than predecessors such as Leona Lewis, Alexandra Burke and Shayne Ward.

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