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Dermot O’Leary on himself and Cheryl for US X Factor
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Cheryl Cole, Simon Cowell and Dermot O'Leary

As he prepares to present this week’s National Television Awards, Dermot O’Leary reveals the tension of waiting to hear whether he’s landed a life-changing job on X Factor USA…

Unfortunately, Cheryl Cole’s name has been mooted, and she is said to be super-keen to be given the chance to launch herself in America.

While they may not do the same job, this sounds like a straight fight between him and Cheryl. And shouldn’t the smart telly money always be on the pretty girl with the swishy hair in these circumstances (even if the yanks won’t have a hope of understanding her accent)?

‘Who knows what factors will come into play? I don’t know what they are looking for,’ Dermot says, diplomatically.

If he were Cowell, though, which one of them would he take? ‘I’d have us both. Seriously. I think there is room for three Brits on the show, but at the same time I get the fact that they might want an American doing the presenting.

‘I’d be miffed if an American came over here and took a presenting job I thought I could do.’

So there won’t be fisticuffs if Cheryl gets the equivalent of the chocolate bar with the golden wrapper? ‘Oh no,’ he grins. ‘Well, not with Cheryl.’

His own opinions on the judges are astute. Simon is, he says, the most honest. Louis is ‘the best cheerleader in the world, and a terrible – brilliant – gossip’.

Dannii is the most analytical. ‘She asks the right questions, and when a performance dips she will lift it up.’ And Cheryl? ‘She is amazing at picking up an atmosphere in the room and translating it for viewers. She gets it spot on. If she does get the job [in America], she’ll deserve it.’

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