Ant and Dec rule out hosting ‘The X Factor’ as Dermot O’Leary is tipped to return

This year's Brits hosts say they prefer working on Simon Cowell's other show, BGT

Ant and Dec have stated there’s “not a chance” that they’ll host The X Factor this year.

Following the news that 2015 presenters Olly Murs and Caroline Flack have stepped down from the ITV talent show, the Geordie duo have been strong contenders to replace them.

However, ahead of presenting tonight’s Brit Awards, Ant told The Mirror: “We’ve done Britain’s Got Talent and we work well with Simon Cowell and have done for years.

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“We did the original Pop Idol, so I don’t think we could go back to do a singing show. On Britain’s Got Talent we get [singing], but we get everything – magicians, jugglers, dogs.”

He concluded: “Once you’ve seen all that variety, I’m not sure we could do just singers again.”

The Mirror has since reported that Simon Cowell is planning on bringing back a familiar face in the form of Dermot O’Leary to front the new series of The X Factor instead.

A show insider told the tabloid: “We want the show to be bigger and better than last year and one thing that people really missed was Dermot.

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“He is as much part of The X Factor as Simon Cowell for most people so it makes sense to approach him about returning. Dermot is thinking things through and a big money deal will be offered to try to tempt him back.”

They concluded: “Nothing is signed but it is looking like a distinct possibility that he will return which is great news for viewers and for Dermot as he has missed working on one of the biggest shows on TV.”

O’Leary – who currently fronts BBC Saturday night show Getaway Car – is said to have “more offers than he has ever had in his career at the moment”.

However, the source continued: “He isn’t on an exclusive contract with the BBC and would definitely love to work with ITV. For him the decision will probably come down to balance.”

O’Leary hosted The X Factor between 2007 and 2014, with Murs and Flack lasting just one series – much like judge Nick Grimshaw who also confirmed last week that he will not be returning to the panel.