Fan favourite Dermot O'Leary has announced he's leaving singing competition The X-Factor after presenting the show for the last eight years. The charismatic presenter has decided to leave the show to move on to other projects, leaving behind a huge hole in the television program's set up.

The forty-one year old took to his Twitter page to confirm his departure, writing a series of comments; "After eight wonderful years on The X-Factor it's time for me to move on," the presenter wrote. "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.

I'd like to thank 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!"

According to the Daily Mail, an ITV spokesman commented on Dermot's news; "Dermot's been a fantastic host of The X Factor for the past eight series and we're sorry to see him go. We wish him all the very best for the future and hope that he'll be back on ITV screens soon." Dermot took over from former presenter Kate Thornton, who was fired from the show by creator and boss Simon Cowell in 2007. In the beginning, O'Leary was only singed on for two weeks but made such an impression on Cowell, it really became his entrance to stardom.

Before O'Leary joined the X-Factor team, he was a fairly unknown presenter of Big Brother's spin-off show, Big Brother's Little Brother but shot to fame once audiences got hooked on his X-Factor appearances. The producers of X-Factor are said to be revamping the structure of the show after finding out they'll be losing the prime time Saturday night spot to the upcoming Rugby World Cup.

There's no news yet on just who will be replacing the well-loved presenter but it will certaintly be a hard act to follow, with fans taking to social media to air their concerns and sorrow at O'Leary's departure. Who would you like to see replace O'Leary as the smiling face of X-Factor?