This passed season of The X Factor UK was much like how Dickens described pre-revolution France, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times”. The show’s artists were incredibly successful on the iTunes charts and the show was a hit online…but in the mainstream TV ratings…not so much. In fact, viewership of the iconic series has been going down for years. But host Dermot O’Leary says they aren’t worried.
His basic argument is that they’ve been on so long that he doesn’t see them going anywhere anytime soon. Dermot says,
“Do you know what we are? We’re very comfortable in our own skin now. We’ve been doing it for so long, we all love doing it and we’re not under any pressure from the channel. We’re still rating well, it’s just not where it was. We all know the world we started making that show in – people watch telly in a completely different way now. So you take solace in the fact that Grace Davies has had that many hits, or Rak-Su have had three out of the top five singles on iTunes.”
I don’t know how it works in Britain but just because you’ve been on for a long time doesn’t mean you can’t get the boot. I imagine that TV execs are the same the world over and that they are not in it for the art, they are in it for the money. If the money isn’t there, why keep doing it. Maybe Dermot is just in denial that The X Factor UK’s ratings are in trouble. I bet you Simon is not so nonchalant. That guy is too savvy to not know they are in trouble.