'X Factor' U.K. Host Dermot O'Leary Quits

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Dermot O'Leary

His departure after eight years fuels some speculation that he could be in the running to host BBC hit show 'Top Gear.'

The X Factor U.K. host Dermot O'Leary is leaving the Simon Cowell-created music talent show, which airs on ITV in Britain.

"After eight wonderful years on @TheXFactor it's time for me to move on," he tweeted on Friday. "I'd like to thank ITV, Simon, The X Factor family and particularly the viewers, all of whom have been a big part of my life for so long."

Added O'Leary: "I'd like to wish the team all the best for the future, especially whoever takes over from me."

A show spokesman said: "We'd like to thank Dermot for eight brilliant years at the helm of The X Factor. He has been a fantastic host, masterfully keeping the show on the road, supporting the contestants throughout the competition and keeping the judges in check. We will miss him and his dance moves and wish him all the best for the future."

The Guardian reported that O'Leary's announcement sparked some immediate speculation that he could be in the running to host BBC hit show Top Gear. Earlier this week, the BBC said it wouldn't renew the contract of Jeremy Clarkson after a "fracas" with a producer.

No new host for the Cowell show was named. "An announcement on the host for the new [season] will be made in due course," the spokesman for X Factor U.K. said.

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