Dermot O'Leary has said he is not bothered by the ratings for this year's series of The X Factor.

The ITV1 show, featuring Gary Barlow, Nicole Scherzinger, Louis Walsh and Tulisa Contostavlos as judges, has performed less well than last year and recently notched up its lowest figures for the series so far.

But host Dermot said: "I never really worry about the ratings because it's been an Indian summer and everyone is out enjoying the sun rather than watching telly aren't they?"

He joked that the sunshine was "why Australia doesn't really have a TV industry", adding "everyone would rather be outside."

Speaking at GQ Men Of The Year Awards, Dermot added: "And even if the ratings dip we are still doing pretty well."

The presenter said he enjoyed having Sharon Osbourne back on the ITV1 show in the judges' houses stage, saying: "She sparkles and she's outspoken and she's great on TV."

He defended changing X Factor rules so singers with management deals can enter.

"It's naive to make a show like this and expect to get people who have never auditioned before or tried to have made it," he said.