The Xtra Factor: Holly takes over from Fearne

Dancing on Ice host Holly Willoughby is taking over Fearne Cotton’s presenting duties on The X Factor’s sister show.

The 27-year-old has been asked to step into her best friend’s shoes when The Xtra Factor, the spin-off series that goes out after the main show, returns for another run on ITV2 this summer.

Fearne’s increasing commitments in America are part of the reason for her move – she fronted a stateside Guinness Book of Records show earlier this year and went on to co-host a reality series called Last Comic Standing. But a source told the Sunday Mirror that her difficult working relationship with judge Simon Cowell hadn’t endeared her to the British talent series.

‘Fearne was very happy to wave goodbye, so she harbours no resentment towards Holly,’ says the insider. ‘Holly’s a very different type of presenter. She gets on with everyone so there will be no fireworks between her and Simon.’

Both Holly and Fearne should be lining up together again in a new ITV series called Celebrity Juice. The girls have reportedly been earmarked for team captain roles on the new panel show, due on screen later this year.