ITV confirms Dermot O'Leary and room auditions are back for The X Factor 2016

Dermot will present the show once more after Caroline Flack and Olly Murs exits

Dermot O'Leary

Dermot O'Leary WILL return as presenter of The X Factor for its 2016 series, ITV has confirmed - with the intimate room auditions also making a comeback.

Speculation over Dermot's involvement has been rife since Caroline Flack and Olly Murs left last month, after just one year fronting the main show.

And tonight, in a post on the show's official website, it has been announced that Dermot is indeed on board again.

The man himself commented: "I'm very flattered to be asked back to The X Factor, and am currently dusting off my dancing shoes. There is nothing more exciting than hosting live TV on a Saturday night.

"The show is naturally very close to my heart, after having hosted it for 8 years. I'm really looking forward to it, and excited to be back."

X Factor boss Simon Cowell added: "Dermot's back! Hooray! And so is his dancing! Welcome home Dermot."

Dermot was replaced by Caroline and Olly last year after his eight-year stint, but recent reports suggested that Simon was desperate to bring him back after realising how popular he is with viewers.

Meanwhile, the announcement also revealed the first big tweak to the talent contest for its thirteenth series - as the room auditions are also back, meaning hopefuls picked to face the judges will first perform for them without an audience.

An original X Factor staple, room auditions were ditched in 2009 in favour of arena auditions with huge crowds in attendance.

They were resurrected in a double audition format in 2013, with acts having to pass both room and arena try-outs to make it to Boot Camp - until they were axed again for the last series.

This year, anyone who gets three or more yesses at the room auditions will go through to the "next stage of the competition" - but it is currently unknown what the next stage will be.

Bosses have also yet to confirm the line-up of judges for the new series, or whether Rochelle Humes and Melvin Odoom will continue to front ITV2 spin-off The Xtra Factor.

Filming for The X Factor 2016 will commence in the coming weeks, with the show expected to begin in late August.

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