Dermot O’Leary has given his two cents on how The X Factor can save itself.
The 42-year-old presented the reality show for seven years before leaving in 2014, so he has a pretty good idea of how it all works.
It was widely reported throughout the last series that it had suffered a worrying dip in ratings, with Louisa Johnson’s victory being 700,000 viewers down on last year’s final.
Now Dermot has suggested a few things that boss Simon Cowell could change to help ensure the next season doesn’t endure the same fate.
He tells the Radio Times: ‘If I was Simon I’d take it off air for a year. I’d rest it, and then I’d get back to the rooms. For me it was always room, arena, Boot Camp.
‘Also I was really uncomfortable about the Six-Chair Challenge. I don’t think it’s a particularly nice bit of television.’
Dermot reckons The X Factor could learn a few things from Strictly Come Dancing – its biggest Saturday night rival.
Talking about Simon’s lost audience, he continues: ‘I know where they’ve gone, they’ve gone and watched Strictly.
‘One of the reasons people like Strictly is because it is a very warm show, and I think you’ve got to keep that in mind.’
He also claims that The X Factor takes itself too seriously, adding: ‘I don’t think they can say things like: “Change my life forever.” and: “Amazing!” Just use different language.’
Another controversial part of this year’s X Factor was the introduction of Caroline Flack and Olly Murs as Dermot’s replacements.
Unfortunately for the pair, they were blighted by some awkward mistakes and technical hitches throughout the live episodes.
While Dermot stayed fairly schtum on the criticism they received, he now admits: ‘You never want other people to fail, but sometimes you need a few c***-ups to remind people it’s a finely honed craft.’
We’re confident they’ll have better luck if they get another shot next time. And Dermot doesn’t actually seem to have too many negative feelings towards his old programme.
He clarifies: ‘When you’ve done one of the country’s biggest shows for eight years, there aren’t many downsides.’ Aw, now that’s good to hear.