Dermot O'Leary wants X Factor to go head to head with Strictly next year

Dermot O'Leary (X Factor 2012)

X Factor host Dermot O'Leary has said he wants to go head to head with Strictly Come Dancing on Saturday nights next year.

The telly host blames ITV bosses for the low ratings by putting the show on later to avoid any clash between the two Saturday night reality telly shows.

Last night's final performance show was watched by an average audience of 9.3 million, making it the least watched final since 2005.

Dermot said: "I think you have good years and bad years. I think this is a very good year in terms of talent and Strictly have had a great year this year.

“If you want my honest opinion I think we go out too late. There’s no reason why we shouldn’t go head to head. I'd rather go head-head 100 per cent."

He explained: “We’re a family show and I don’t know a family that starts watching at 8 o’clock and finishes watching at half past ten.

“If I worried about who watched this show I’d go out of my mind, If I thought about the however many million watch at home I’d go crazy.”

“I think if the room’s having a god time, those at home are having a good time and no-one can argue the talent's been good this year."

Speaking ahead of tonight's final, Dermot revealed he didn;t think Simon Cowell and Gary Barlow could ever be on the same panel together.

He said: “The room is always more exciting when Simon Cowell is in it but it couldn't work with Simon and Gary"

He continued: “But the format is so robust and it is a national treasure and some years are more successful than other years. But I think the judges we’ve got now are a really strong set and in many years to keep changing year on year on year, I don’t know I that’s good for the show or not.

“It’s like a footballer – it might need a year to bed in.”

The X Factor 2012 continues tonight with the live final results in Manchester from 7:40PM on ITV1.

Jahmene Douglas and James Arthur will be battling it out to be crowned winner, while there will be performances from One Direction, Rhianna and Emeli Sande.

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