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Holly Willoughby to present 'Xtra Factor'

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Holly Willoughby to present 'Xtra Factor'

Rex Features

Holly Willoughby is to front X Factor spinoff The Xtra Factor.

The Dancing On Ice presenter will host the new series of the ITV2 show when it returns this summer.

She will take over the role previously held by close friend Fearne Cotton, who announced that she was quitting in February to concentrate on her work commitments in the US.

Willoughby said: "I am thrilled to be joining the X Factor team. I have always been a big fan of the show and I am looking forward to going on the road with the team and meeting some of the colourful characters the UK has to offer, as well as this year’s potential new stars."

Series producer Meriel Beale added: "We are delighted Holly is joining the Xtra Factor team, bringing her fresh approach to all the backstage gossip. I am sure her warm and cheeky manner will be a hit with the judges!"

Cotton was rumoured to have left the show because of a personality clash with judge Simon Cowell, but The Sunday Mirror claims that the problem is not likely to re-occur with Willoughby.

A source said: "Fearne was very happy to wave goodbye, so she harbours no resentment towards Holly. Holly’s a very different type of presenter. She gets on with everyone so there will be no fireworks between her and Simon."

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