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Dermot O'Leary told his family is too boring for 'Who Do You Think You Are?'

Albertina Lloyd
·Entertainment reporter, Yahoo UK
·3 min read
Dermot O'Leary poses for photographers upon arrival at the Victoria's Secret fashion show in London, Tuesday, Dec. 2, 2014. (Photo by Jonathan Short/Invision/AP)
Dermot O'Leary claims Who Do You Think You Are? researchers didn't try hard enough to find the exciting characters in his family tree. (AP)

Dermot O'Leary has been left disappointed after he was told his family were too boring to be featured on Who Do You Think You Are?.

The 47-year-old host of The X Factor revealed he had been approached about appearing in the BBC documentary series, which sees celebrities trace their family tree – but researchers told him they hadn't found anything of interest in his past.

O'Leary told parenting podcast Sweat, Snot And Tears: "They actually researched my family for about three months. They came back and said: 'There's just not enough interesting stuff about your family.'"

Watch: Danny Dyer gets emotional during expletive-laden speech at The National Television Awards

Read more: Emma Willis left shocked by violent family history on Who Do You Think You Are?

The TV presenter – who welcomed his first child with wife Dee Koppang in June 2020 – was born in Essex, but holds both British and Irish citizenship as his parents are Irish. O'Leary claimed the researchers had not tried hard enough to unearth the truth about his ancestors.

Dermot O'Leary and Dee Koppang pose for photographers upon arrival at the BAFTA Film Awards in London, Sunday, Feb. 10, 2019. (Photo by Vianney Le Caer/Invision/AP)
Dermot O'Leary and wife Dee Koppang welcomed son Kasper last June. (AP)

He went on: "Wexford is a port town, and my family are all seafaring folk. I have it on good authority that two of them went to America.

"One of them was a police officer and the other was a judge and they both got killed by the Mafia in the 30s.

"They couldn't find any record of this. I was like, 'What are you on about? We've been everywhere, we're a family of sailors.'

"I just don't think they were trying hard enough. It's awful, isn't it? Absolutely awful."

But O'Leary need not be too offended, as he is not the first celebrity to be told their family history was too dull for the show.

Sir Michael Parkinson at the Australia Day Foundation Gala Dinner in 2017. (PA)
Sir Michael Parkinson is also in the club of celebrities deemed too dull for the BBC family history series. (PA)

Other famous faces who have admitted to being approached by Who Do You Think You Are? only to be told they hadn't made the grade include TV presenter Sir Michael Parkinson.

The 85-year-old told the Radio Times in 2009: "When Who Do You Think You Are? called and asked if I was interested, I said I would be delighted, but warned that my own research had unearthed nothing of note.

Read more: Dermot O'Leary confronted Simon Cowell about lack of screen time on The X Factor

"'Oh, they all say that. But we always find something,' they said. Six weeks later they phoned to apologise. My story was so boring they had to cancel the entire project. I was gutted."

The same thing happened to Welsh singer Sir Tom Jones, This Morning presenter Eamonn Holmes and Pointless star Richard Osman.

Watch: Dermot O'Leary discusses his children's book