Dermot O’Leary looks back: ‘I don’t remember having a bowl on my head for a haircut’

The TV presenter recreates an old photo and recalls his Irish household – and breaking into TV

Born in 1973 and raised in a village near Colchester, broadcaster Dermot O’Leary studied at Middlesex University before becoming a TV runner and researcher in the mid-90s. Part of a new wave of fresh, young British presenters, he was the poster boy for hangover TV, hosting T4 from 1998 to 2001, until his career on the vanguard of reality TV began: first as a presenter on Big Brother’s Little Brother, and then on The X Factor in two stints between 2007 and 2018. He now presents This Morning on Fridays and has a show on BBC Radio 2. His podcast, People, Just People, is available now on Audible, and series four comes out on 21 July.

This photograph must have been taken at nursery just before I started school – there’s no way my parents would have taken me to a photo studio, even if they could have afforded it. I was four years old, and while I don’t ever remember having a bowl on my head for a haircut, the style doesn’t look far off it. Most of all I just see the happiness of my childhood bursting through my eyes.

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