You know him as the sharp-suited king of Saturday night TV, but for the past two years, Dermot O’Leary has led a double life, working on a secret project with M&S to create a new smash hit – his 24.hr Grooming for Men range. “It might sound like a career curveball, but 20 years in television teaches you that it’s worth looking after your skin – especially now I’m knocking on 44,” says the presenter with a wry smile, as he tucks into breakfast at London’s Somerset House.
On duty, the X-Factor frontman may describe himself as a “pampered show pony”, but his grooming range – six fuss-free hair, face and body products – is, like the man himself, firmly rooted in reality.
“Guys don’t mess about with a complicated ritual, so we kept the line-up simple and affordable,” he says. “From a hair and body wash that smells great but isn’t overpowering, to a moisturiser that makes your skin feel hydrated, without being oily. Trust me, I’m the guinea pig who tested the lot,” he laughs.
While Dermot’s enthusiasm for the range is infectious, there’s one product the TV star and award-winning radio host confesses even he needed to be educated about – the Eye Roller. “This bad boy is amazing,” he says, giving the serum a quick whirl to prove his point. “Just roll it on whenever you’re tired and – boom! – it makes your eyes feel revived, even if the rest of you doesn’t.”
But it’s not just the fun science stuff that got Dermot’s full attention. The star rolled his sleeves up and made sure every aspect of the range reflected his ethos – from the understated, cool but classic look of the products, to the claims on the packaging.
“I wasn’t going to make any big, unrealistic claims about this stuff,” he explains, brandishing the All In One Day Cream. “It isn’t going to make you look years younger, but it will get your skin in much better shape for your age. And I’m totally happy with that.”