Dermot O'Leary

Dermot O'Leary
Dermot O'Leary

O'Leary at the 2009 auditions of The X Factor in Cardiff
Background information
Birth name Seán Dermot Fintan O'Leary, Jr.
Born 24 May 1973 (1973-05-24) (age 38)
Origin Colchester, Essex, England, UK
Genres Pop culture
Occupations Television presenter, radio DJ, comedian
Years active 1999–present

Dermot O'Leary (born Seán Dermot Fintan O'Leary, Jr.) is an English television and radio presenter. He established himself as a presenter of Big Brother's Little Brother on Channel 4 before moving on to The X Factor on ITV. O'Leary has also presented on the BBC and has his own radio show on BBC Radio 2. He is of Irish descent and currently holds an Irish passport. From 2012 he will co-host the new reality talent show on BBC 1 The Voice (UK) with Davina McCall.


Early life

O'Leary was born and grew up in Colchester to Irish parents. He attended primary school in Marks Tey and later St Benedict's Catholic College in Colchester, graduating with two General Certificates of Secondary Education,[1] and Colchester Sixth Form College.

O'Leary studied at Middlesex University, achieving a degree in Media and Television with Politics. He achieved a 2:2.[citation needed] He left school with only two GCSEs.



O'Leary started as a disc jockey at Essex Radio[2] before becoming a runner on the TV show Light Lunch with Mel Giedroyc and Sue Perkins and then presenter at Channel 4, part of the original presenting line-up of the channel's T4 strand, before moving on to present Big Brother's Little Brother (the companion show to Big Brother) on E4 from 2001 onwards.

On 27 November 2007, it was announced that Big Brother: Celebrity Hijack was to be O'Leary's last series of Big Brother, and that he would not return in summer 2008. After seven years he made his final Big Brother appearance on 28 January 2008.

In August 2006, O'Leary signed a deal to present the game show 1 vs. 100, which aired on Saturday nights on BBC One in combination with the National Lottery draws.

On 29 March 2007, it was announced that O'Leary would replace Kate Thornton as the new host of ITV's The X Factor for at least two series. Speaking after the announcement he said: "I was very flattered to be offered the job to host such a hugely successful show. I'm really looking forward to working with Simon Cowell and the team on the kind of Saturday night entertainment show I grew up watching." While presenting the show he reportedly upset Celine Dion among other things, later saying he "literally had to shut her up".[3]

In March 2009, O'Leary introduced Michael Jackson to an audience of fans at the The O2 in what turned out to be Jackson's final public appearance before his death.[4][5][6][7]

In May 2009, O'Leary became the new host of Matt Lucas and David Walliams' Rock Profile.[8]

In March 2010, O'Leary hosted a spinoff edition of the BBC One show Question Time, which aired on BBC Three, aimed at first time voters.[9] In June 2010, O'Leary hosted Soccer Aid on ITV 1

Future projects

He has on several occasions expressed interest in hosting The Rose of Tralee,[10][11] particularly after Ray D'Arcy, a host with whom he has exchanged public banter,[12] vacated the role in 2010.[13]


O'Leary joined London's Indie rock station XFM in 2001 firstly presenting weekday mid-mornings from 10 am–1 pm, before moving to a Saturday evening show in mid 2002, where he remained until late 2003.

He joined BBC Radio 2 in September 2004, presenting a Saturday afternoon show entitled Dermot's Saturday Club which ran from 2pm to 4pm. Following a number of changes to the length and timing of Dermot's programme, due in part to the arrival of Chris Evans to Radio 2 and his role as presenter of The X Factor, his show has broadcast between 3pm and 6pm since April 2009.[citation needed]

O'Leary's Radio 2 show focuses on new music and live sessions, and has featured live sessions from the likes of Oasis, Supergrass, The Raconteurs, Massive Attack, Kasabian, Guillemots, The Zutons, Alesha Dixon, Beck, The Lemonheads, Lily Allen, Foo Fighters, The Go! Team, Bloc Party, Ben Kweller, The Magic Numbers, Moby and Kate Nash. O'Leary also hosts Radio 2's coverage of the Brit Awards and South by Southwest. He won a Sony Gold Award for Music Programme of the Year in 2008 and again in 2010.[14]

Shows hosted


  • The Big Breakfast
  • T4 (1999–2001)
  • The Dogs' Balearics (2000)
  • Re:covered
  • Big Brother's Little Brother (2001–2008)
  • Big Brother Africa (2003)
  • Big brother around the world (2008)
  • Teen Big Brother UK (2003)
  • SAS: Are You Tough Enough? (2002)
  • Dermot's Sporting Buddies (2002)
  • Some Of My Best Friends Are... Catholic (2003)
  • SAS Jungle: Are You Tough Enough? (2003)
  • Shattered[15] (2004)
  • Big Brother's Little Breakfast (2006) (Morning version of BBLB for Celebrity Big Brother UK)
  • Morning Glory (2006)
  • Big Brother's Big Brain (2006–2007)
  • 1 vs. 100 (2006–2007)
  • The X Factor (2007–2011)
  • Big Brother: Celebrity Hijack (2008)
  • Never Mind the Buzzcocks (2008 - Guest Team Captain, 2009 - Guest Host)
  • The Paul O'Grady Show (2009) (Guest Presenter)
  • The National Television Awards 2009 (2010) (Host)
  • First Time Voters' Question Time, BBC Three, (2010)
  • Dermot Meets...(David Cameron, Gordon Brown, Danny Mulhern and Nick Clegg), BBC Three (2010)
  • Soccer Aid (2010) (Host)
  • Big Brother's Last Supper (2010) (Host)
  • The National Television Awards 2010-present (Host)
  • Red Nose Day (2011) (Co-host)
  • Live from the Royal Wedding (2011) (Host)
  • The Marriage Ref (2011) (Host)
  • The Voice (2012) (Host)
  • Britain's Got Talent (2012) (Host)


  • XFM Weekday Mid-Mornings - (2001–2002)
  • XFM The Weekender Saturday Evenings - (2002–2003)
  • BBC Radio 2 Dermot's Saturday Club Saturdays 2-4pm (2004–2005)
  • BBC Radio 2 The Dermot O'Leary Show Saturdays 5-7pm (2005–2006), Saturdays 4.30-6.30pm (2006–2007), Saturdays 2-4pm (during The X Factor, Nov-Dec 2007), Saturdays 2-5pm (2008–2009), Saturdays 3-6pm (2009-)

Personal life

O'Leary supports Arsenal Football Club, Celtic Football Club, London Irish Rugby Football Club and politically the Labour Party. He can be heard on the 'Footballistically Arsenal' podcast with his friends and fellow Arsenal fans Dan Balwdin and Boyd Hilton, and on this show it was mentioned that he owns shares in the club. He supports Wexford GAA in Gaelic Games, attending matches in the past. He has identified himself as a left-wing socialist.[16] During an appearance as a studio guest on Fantasy Football Euro 2004, O'Leary spoke of his support for the Republic of Ireland football team.

When O'Leary was in his late teens, he played American football for his local team, the Colchester Gladiators. In His early years, he was good friends with Lord Gimpett, with whom he lived In London[citation needed]. He ran the 2005 London Marathon (his third) under four hours for the first time. In 2007 he was an usher at the wedding of Holly Willoughby.[17] He is also a practising Roman Catholic, having contributed to the collection of essays Why I am Still Catholic in 2005. In the February 2008 issue of the Irish magazine, Social and Personal, O'Leary was voted the sexiest man in Ireland out of the Top 100.[citation needed]

O'Leary has campaigned on behalf of Make Poverty History, and has visited Sierra Leone with CAFOD accompanied by his father. He is also a patron of the male cancer awareness campaign, Everyman. In 2003, he played in a charity match for the Colchester Gladiators as a punt returner, helping to raise £2,500 for the Barnardo's children's fund.[18][19]

On 19th November 2011 episode of Xtra Factor, it was announced that Dermot was engaged to his long-term girlfriend Dee Koppang.[20][21][22]

He co-owns the FishyFishy restaurants in Brighton [23] and Poole.

O'Leary says his funeral song would be "Tonight We Fly" by The Divine Comedy.[24]


  1. ^ Sims, Fiona (12 June 2009). "Fishy Fishy: Dermot O'Leary's restaurant is the reel deal". London: The Times. Retrieved 29 June 2009. 
  2. ^
  3. ^ "Dermot O'Leary upsets Celine Dion". RTÉ Entertinement (14 December 2007)
  4. ^ Michael Jackson Announces Plans For Summer Residency At The O2 Arena (Dermot O'Leary) Zimbio (5 March 2009)
  5. ^ Samson, Pete (7 March 2009) What Jacko said to Dermot: Dermot, is the teleprompter on? The Sun
  6. ^ Youngs, Ian (5 March 2009) 'Final curtain call' for Jackson BBC News Online
  7. ^ "Michael Jackson announces O2 Arena London gigs - and retirement?" NME 5 March 2009
  8. ^ Rock Profile:Peter Andre & Jordan Pt.1 Funny or Die
  9. ^ O'Leary to host episode of Question Time. RTÉ Intertainment. 12 February 2010.
  10. ^ "Dermot O'Leary wants Rose of Tralee gig". RTÉ Entertinment. 11 August 2009.
  11. ^ O’Leary: it would be blooming great if I was the new Rose of Tralee host. Belfast Telegraph 15 May 2010.
  12. ^ Ray D'Arcy hits back at Dermot O'Leary. RTÉ Entertainmeant (19 August 2009)
  13. ^ O'Leary says he is 'free' for Rose of Tralee. RTÉ Entertainmint. 13 May 2010.
  14. ^ BBC coverage of O'Leary's Sony Gold Award
  15. ^
  16. ^ Rookwood, Dan (7 February 2003) Small Talk: Dermot O'Leary, The Guardian
  17. ^ Holly Willoughby exclusive: Why she loves wearing those revealing dresses. Daily Mirror.
  18. ^ "Team History". Colchester Gladiators American Football Club. Retrieved 21 May 2008. 
  19. ^ "Colchester Gladiators - 20th Anniversary Reunion Game". Britball Now. 19 October 2003. Archived from the original on 18 December 2007. Retrieved 13 May 2008. 
  20. ^ Fulton, Rick (30 September 2005) Relax, Girls, Dermot Is Not Getting Married The Daily Record
  21. ^ Williams, Andrew (23 July 2007) 60 SECONDS: Dermot O’Leary Metro
  22. ^ "My Secret Life: Dermot O'Leary, broadcaster", The Independent 28 July 2007
  23. ^ ___Leary_pledges_future_to_Brighton "Dermot O'Leary pledges future to Brighton". The Argus (Brighton). 24 June 2010. ___Leary_pledges_future_to_Brighton. Retrieved 24 June 2010. 
  24. ^ Dermot O'Leary Biography BBC Radio 2

External links

Preceded by
Kate Thornton
Host of The X Factor

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Dermot O'Leary — (né Seán Dermot Fintan O Leary, Jr.[1][2] le 24 mai 1973[3]) est un animateur de télévision et de radio irlandais[4] connu pour avoir présenté l émission Big Brother s Little Brother sur la chaine britannique …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Dermot Mac Curtain — Personal information Irish name Diarmuid Mac Curtain Sport Hurling …   Wikipedia

  • Dermot Morgan — Born Dermot John Morgan 31 March 1952(1952 03 31) Dublin, Republic of Ireland Died 28 February 1998(1998 02 28) (aged 45) Hounslow, London, England …   Wikipedia

  • Dermot McNicholl — Dermot Spoofer McNicholl Personal information Irish name Diarmuid Mac Niocail Sport Gaelic football …   Wikipedia

  • Dermot Deasy — Personal information Irish name Diarmaid Mac an Déisigh Sport Gaelic football …   Wikipedia

  • Dermot O'Neill (gardener) — For other people named Dermot O Neill, see Dermot O Neill (disambiguation). Dermot O Neill is a well known Irish gardener[1] and editor of Garden Heaven magazine,[2] who has appeared on many radio and television programmes for both RTÉ and the… …   Wikipedia

  • O'Leary — is an Irish name, an anglicized version of the original Gaelic patronym Ó Laoghaire or Ó Laoire. The Uí Laoghaire clan, today associated with the Uibh Laoghaire parish in County Cork, is considered by scholars[1][2] to have originated on the… …   Wikipedia

  • Olivia O'Leary — Born 1949 (age 61–62) Nationality Irish Education St Leo s College, Carlow Alma mater University College Dublin …   Wikipedia

  • List of Big Brother (UK) shows — This is a complete list of shows about and relating to Big Brother (UK). Contents 1 Current shows 1.1 Big Brother 1.2 Big Brother Eviction 1.3 Big Brother s Bit on the Side …   Wikipedia

  • Red Nose Day 2011 — logo Red Nose Day 2011 was a fundraising event organised by Comic Relief. There was a live telethon broadcast on BBC One and BBC Two from the evening of 18 March 2011 to early the following morning as well as a number of run up events. The theme… …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.