Dermot O'Leary has announced his decision to quit presenting ITV's The X Factor after eight years. He took to Twitter on Friday to confirm that he was leaving, saying it was time to "move on." There is speculation that show producers had axed him, as they look to refresh the show ahead of the new series in the summer.
The 41-year-old presenter tweeted: "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." O'Leary began presenting X Factor in 2007, taking over from Kate Thornton, who had been axed after three series.
Hosting the X Factor is seen as one of the biggest and most lucrative jobs on British #Television.
Dermot says that he wishes whoever it will be his replacement, all the best. "I'd like to wish the team all the best for the future, especially whoever takes over from me." As messages of support flooded in, Dermot thanked his followers adding that it was the "best decision" on deciding to quit X Factor.
The Sun newspaper claims that Dermot rushed out a statement as they were about to reveal that he'd been axed as host. Dan Wootton, showbiz editor at the newspaper, said "Dermot O'Leary's team rushed out his statement after finding out @TheSunNewspaper would be splashing on the story in tomorrow's edition."
The respected showbiz editor has also revealed that Olly Murs and Caroline Flack will be the new hosts. They previously worked together on the spin-off show Xtra Factor back in 2011 and 2012. Following the announcement that Dermot was leaving, bookmakers made Olly the favourite for the top job. An insider told The Sun that Simon Cowell had "secretly met" Olly and Caroline to discuss the job.