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'X Factor' Host Dermot O'Leary Laments Live Show Cuts: 'Of Course I Want To Do More'

The number of live shows has been reduced from 10 to six this year.

30/08/2017 20:10 | Updated 31 August 2017

Dermot O’Leary has admitted his disappointment at how TV viewing habits have led to the number of live shows being cut down on this year’s ‘X Factor’

The ITV talent show will air just six weeks of live rounds this year, compared to the usual ten, as part of Simon Cowell’s plan to turn the show’s declining ratings around. 

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Dermot O'Leary at the 'X Factor' press launch

Asked if he was annoyed the Six Chair Challenge - something that he previously described as “not a particularly nice bit of television” - has survived the format shake up, while the live stages had been cut, Dermot claimed the way people watch TV had prompted the change. 

“The Six Chair Challenge, I’m never the biggest fan of it, he told HuffPost UK and other journalists at the series press launch. 

“What’s different, having done it for a few years now is that people know what to expect. The first year it was brutal, but now it’s interesting - whether it’s the maturity of the contestants - you get a lot of people who know the format and what to expect.”

He continued: “Of course I want to do more live shows - it’s my favourite part of the show.

“I get the fact we have a 2.5 hour live show, which is how we used to make it 14 years ago, and people don’t watch live telly like that on a Saturday night anymore, so you have to evolve.”

ITV
Dermot is not a fan of the Six Chair Challenge

The presenter also echoed Simon’s hopes ‘X Factor’ could make it to its 20th series in 2013, claiming it still delivers healthy ratings for ITV. 

“That would be great. What a testament to the show if it was on for 20 years,” he said.

“When I was doing ‘Big Brother’ [Dermot hosted spin-off show, ‘Little Brother’], we felt like that seven or eight in. We couldn’t believe we were on air as long as we were.

“So for [‘X Factor’] to still resonate with the public, and we get asked about ratings every year, but to average eight million over 16 weeks is huge business for ITV. And it’s testament to people who still watch the show.”

‘The X Factor’ returns on Saturday 2 September at 8pm on ITV. 

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