“I can reveal the latest news from the I’m a Celebrity… camp”

Wednesday, November 14, 2007 by

To the Soho Hotel in London, and ITV1′s winter season launch. Taking to the mic – to no applause – Simon Shaps, now tentatively essaying a beard. He began with a few “messages” from the I’m a Celebrity… camp, revelling in the fact this was a show that required no context-setting with the assembled. Lynne Franks had suggested we “all hold hands” apparently.

And then it was into the spiel – ITV1′s had the best year-on-year in share terms since 2001 (what does that mean?); the top 225 programmes watched on commercial TV were all on ITV1; and with a 0.5% drop, “We’re getting close to holding share”. Nonetheless, he admitted there was “still a way to go” in turning the channel around. “An unprecedented number of new titles” in 2008 were set to do the job, though.

So, what were the headlines? Mainly that Marco Pierre White has signed a three-year contract with the channel, which will result in various programmes, but, most importantly, another run of Hell’s Kitchen. “This deal with ITV will give me the opportunity to share my knowledge and to inspire people to want to cook,” is the quote from the bandana-wearing chef, who was probably splodging HP sauce on something at the time.

Plus, there’s Caught in a Trap a one-off which nabs ‘Maria’s Connie Fisher and casts her as a young woman obsessed by Elvis. The Changeling, meanwhile, features Ray Winstone in “a dark and dangerous tale of obsessive love”. Aren’t they all?

More obviously excitingly, Take That will usher in the New Year with Countdown to Midnight: With Take That and Guests Live at the O2.

To be fair, the teaser trailer we were shown for the season did look pretty strong, a decent mix of famous faces and high concepts, so let’s see what comes of it all. It even drew a smattering of applause.


Comments are closed.