Dermot O’Leary has spoken out following ITV’s decision to axe the Xtra Factor.
If you’re wondering why Xtra Factor isn’t on tonight or where it is in the schedules, here’s your answer.
The spin-off to the main X Factor series won’t return in 2017 having accompanied the singing competition on ITV2 since 2004.
During that time the show has seen many hosts including Ben Shephard, Holly Willoughby, Olly Murs, Caroline Flack and Matt Richardson.
And who can forget that year Konnie Huq was in charge.
Host of the main show Dermot O’Leary said: “I was sad, but I get it. We’ve made the X Factor for 14 years now but the way people watch the show has changed; now we have massive hits on YouTube compared to how it used to be, so you have to work harder on a show to keep people’s attention.
“Similarly, Xtra Factor started in a time when a lot of people watched that kind of show, but things have moved on. And we’re doing much more digital content instead.”
The last series of Xtra Factor was fronted by Rylan and Matt Edmondson together with Roman Kemp, who had taken over from Melvin Odoom and Rochelle Humes.
Speaking earlier this year to the Daily Mirror about the show’s demise, Rylan said he was “Relieved.”
“Not in a horrible way,” he explained, “I love X Factor, I was born out of it, but I looked at it as a one-year thing… Maybe I’d have done it again, but then it was axed and I’m alright with that.
“It was the right time… It wasn’t like we ran it into the ground, we did a good series. It went out on a high.”
According to The Sun newspaper, the decision to axe the Xtra Factor was made in a bid to focus on more online content.
A source said: “It’s nothing to do with Rylan and Matt. They did a great job and if the show was continuing on TV they would definitely be returning.
“It’s just about the nature of how people consume TV now.”
A spokesperson for ITV confirmed previously: “The X Factor is our biggest ITV entertainment show in terms of online engagement.
“We have taken the decision to move away from a linear switchover show and instead focus our efforts on our digital platforms, in support of the main show.”
The X Factor returns to ITV on Saturday 2nd September and Sunday 3rd September at 8pm