Dermot O’Leary hopes ‘hardest working’ X Factor judges all return this year


Dermot O’Leary is hoping that there will be no changes to The X Factor judges this year.

The host of the ITV show says he is keen for Robbie Williams, Ayda Williams and Louis Tomlinson to reunite with Simon Cowell for a second series.

In a new interview, Dermot said he felt the show would do better if the panel had time to “evolve”.

And he described the three new judges, who all made their debuts on 2018’s show, as the “hardest working” the show has seen.

“It takes a year for people to get to know each other, for the little in-jokes to bed in,” Dermot told the Daily Mirror. “Ayda was terrific and I think in terms of the judges last year, we had the three hardest-working judges we’ve had.”

Dermot added: “I mean, Simon not included obviously, because he’s the mainstay.”

It was reported earlier this week that X Factor bosses were already working on getting at least both Robbie and Ayda back, but were having problems with his schedule.

Last year Robbie was forced to miss two weekends of live shows due to gigs in South America while this year Robbie will be performing in Vegas throughout the summer.

An insider told The Sun newspaper that programme bosses are “stuck a bit at the moment” planning for the new series.

“Producers were impressed with Robbie and (his wife) Ayda last year and definitely want them back,” they explained. “But there’s a bit of a question mark currently over how auditions fit in with his Vegas residency.”

X Factor 2019 applications are currently open now. The show typically begins in September on ITV.

Meanwhile, Dermot is about to launch brand new ITV gameshow Small Fortune, which sees contestants play miniature games for huge prizes.

Small Fortune begins on Saturday at 7.00pm on ITV.