After eight "wonderful" years Dermot O'Leary has confirmed that he will no longer host the Saturday night talent contest The X Factor. The news will come as a shock to fans of the presenter, as only two months ago Dermot admitted that he would "love" to do a ninth season.
"Good afternoon. After eight wonderful years on @TheXFactor it's time for me to move on", the 41-year-old tweeted on Friday afternoon.
He added: "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."
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Dermot O'Leary in 2015
The popular TV presenter took over from Kate Thornton in 2007, and has become a hit with audiences, with fans regularly look forward to his dances at the beginning of each show.
Poking fun at the craziness of The X Factor production, Dermot later tweeted: "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."
A spokesperson for The X Factor 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."
Dermot O'Leary presenting The X Factor
In 2014 Dermot had said of a ninth season: "I haven't made up my mind yet.
"I love doing [The X Factor] and it's a huge part of my life. But it's eight years now. If a new challenge came up that meant I couldn't do both, then..."
As soon as Dermot's departures was revealed on Friday, social media began buzzing with further speculation that Dermot will take over from Jeremy Clarkson on BBC show Top Gear - betting agency William Hill had Dermot at 10-1 prior to the announcement.
The broadcaster presents a weekend radio show for BBC Radio 2, and has done so for over ten years, and recently danced for 24 hours straight to raise money for Comic Relief.