HOST of The X Factor Dermot O’Leary appears to have confirmed that judge Gary Barlow will be leaving the show after the coming series and hinted that he would love to step on to the panel.
The TV presenter suggested Barlow was bowing out after this year’s show, as he spoke on the red carpet at the world premiere of One Direction: This Is Us in London.
Viewers will see the tenth run of the series in the coming days, when it returns to ITV.
O’Leary’s comment came as he discussed a possible return for Simon Cowell and seemed to back up a recent report that Barlow was ready to move on at the completion of his third series as a judge.
He said: “If Simon comes back, the dynamic would be very different. Gary wouldn’t be there – he’ll be leaving at the end of this year. Simon is a great judge, so we’d welcome him back, but Gary’s been such a great head judge as well.”
O’Leary, 40, admitted it would be a dream come true to join the judging panel alongside the likes of Barlow, Louis Walsh, Nicole Scherzinger and Sharon Osbourne.
Barlow, who is said to want to focus on his career with Take That, has remained tight-lipped his future on The X Factor, saying recently that it was “too early” to speculate.