Dermot O’Leary has said that The X Factor will never stop being on telly – despite falling ratings.
The show has suffered against BBC One rival Strictly Come Dancing this year, despite the return of Cheryl Fernandez-Versini and Simon Cowell.
But Dermot, 41, said: “The talent pool regenerates. Someone who was eight when the show first went on air will now be 18 and starting to audition. It’s incredible how auditionees have changed.”
He added: “When I first started [in 2007], people would turn up and say, ‘Tell me who you want me to be’. The judges aren’t interested in that. They want an artist to be original.
“Now, you’ve got kids who are 14, 15 and 16 turning up saying, ‘Here’s my YouTube stuff, here’s my marketing, this is the way I see myself going into the future and I’ve pretty much written my first album’.”
Dermot, who has written a memoir, The Soundtrack To My Life, insisted: “The level of talent is incredible. I think the show will be around for years to come.”
He called judge Louis Walsh ‘the dirtiest judge in the world’, adding: “He nicks songs and leaks stories. He’s really sharp.”
Of his boss, he said: “Simon is tough, fair, approachable. What Simon hates is a ‘yes’ man, and most people who work for him aren’t like that.”
The Soundtrack To My Life by Dermot O’Leary is published by Hodder & Stoughton, priced £20. Available now.