Dermot O'Leary
Dermot O'Leary axed from The X Factor Getty

The X Factor host Dermot O'Leary has reportedly been axed from the ITV talent show after presenting it for seven years.

According to the Sun, the 41-year-old TV presenter will not return for the new season when it kicks off this autumn.

Taking to Twitter, O'Leary, who married long-term girlfriend Dee Koppang in 2012, confirmed the news to fans saying it was "time to move on".

Fans have flocked online to express their anger, shock and sadness at his shock departure.

O'Leary replaced original presenter Kate Thornton as the reality show's main host back in 2007.During his time at the helm, he watched stars like JLS, One Direction and Alexandra Burke catapult to fame after winning over the hearts of the nation.

Just weeks ago he had claimed he would never quit the show to join BBC's Strictly Come Dancing, insisting X Factor was where his loyalties lie. "Never! You cut me and I bleed X! I couldn't. Strictly are a very lovely, cuddly, benevolent enemy... but they're still the enemy! I couldn't do it," he told Digital Spy.

The broadcaster's exit is likely to come as a blow for X Factor boss Simon Cowell, who only this week expressed his sadness over Zayn Malik quitting one Direction.

"I would like to say thank you to Zayn for everything he has done for One Direction. Since I first met Zayn in 2010, I have grown very, very fond - and immensely proud - of him," he said. "I have seen him grow in confidence and I am truly sorry to see him leave. As for One Direction, fans can rest assured that Niall, Liam, Harry and Louis are hugely excited about the future of the band."

Earlier in March, O'Leary, who currently presents a show on Radio 2, made headlines after completing a 24-hour dance marathon for Comic Relief.