Dermot O'Leary has opened up about his return to the X Factor in a candid interview with The Sun, where he revealed that Simon Cowell had personally asked him to come back, admitting he'd "made a mistake."
The TV presenter will be hosting the upcoming series of the singing competition for the first time after he was forced to leave the role last year when he heard that producers were looking for new presenters, with Caroline Flack and Olly Murs eventually stepping in to host the show.
Dermot opened up about returning to X Factor
He told The Sun: "I don't have a God-given right to that job. But I always said, 'If I find out they are talking to anyone else, I'm not going to play games, I'll just go'.
"So I called my wife and woke her up to tell her I was leaving The X Factor - which was a shock, as you can imagine…I called ITV and actually didn't speak to Simon. I texted Simon and got a lovely text back but at the time I wanted to keep that at arm's length."
According to the 43-year-old, Simon called him up to ask him to return to the show in February. Dermot revealed that Simon said: "I've back a mistake, I'd love to get you back." He then confirmed that the pair were closer than ever since he agreed to return to the show, saying: "Actually I think we're closer now than we ever have been. We text all the time."
Simon called Dermot to ask him to return to the show
The news that Dermot would be returning to the show was announced back in March. In a statement, the presenter said: "I'm very flattered to be asked back, 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 excited to be back."
Simon also showed his enthusiasm for Dermot's return at the time, saying: "Dermot's back! Hooray! And so is his dancing. Welcome home Dermot."