ITV unveils its summer of celebrities and more celebrities to lure viewers
First, there were celebrities in the jungle. Then there were celebrities in the kitchen. Now, ITV is trying to trounce
Big Brother in the ratings by sending celebrities to a tropical island, hoping couples fall in love.
First, there were celebrities in the jungle. Then there were celebrities in the kitchen. Now, ITV is trying to trounce Big Brother in the ratings by sending celebrities to a tropical island, hoping couples fall in love.
Yesterday, ITV unveiled a schedule of programmes for spring and summer laden with celebrity and reality television shows, which critics fear could alienate viewers. Heading the bill is Celebrity Love Island, a show ITV hopes will challenge the dominance of Channel 4's Big Brother, which enters its sixth series this summer.
In the prime-time show, 10 good-looking, young, single celebrities will be packed off to a tropical island, where viewers will be able to participate in the matchmaking process by voting.
The word "celebrity" looms large in the ITV line-up. Celebrity Shark Bait brings four celebrities face to face with great whites in South Africa's Shark Alley, a one-off special to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the horror film Jaws.
In Celebrity Wrestling, 12 famous faces are trained to combat in wrestling bouts, and Celebrities Under Pressure sets stars challenges that involve learning new skills. Other highlights include the return of Hell's Kitchen, in which Jean Christophe Novelli and Gary Rhodes will take the place of Gordon Ramsay to turn celebrities into restaurant chefs.
Hit Me Baby One More Time, will revive pop acts from the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s - including Gloria Gaynor, Howard Jones, Sinita and Limahl from Kajagoogoo - to perform their original hits as well as modern songs. Viewers will vote for the winners every week.
As part of a new-look daytime schedule, Philip Schofield hosts Have I Been Here Before?, which will take celebrities back to past lives.
The former ITV chief executive Stuart Prebble believes the network risks alienating sections of its audience with an excess of celebrity shows. He said: "There is a public appetite for celebrity, but what I lament is the narrowing of the ITV audience. If you're doing an enormous amount of celebrity, some sections of the audience won't come to ITV. It still does one or two worthwhile documentaries, but because people who want to see serious programmes don't expect to see them on ITV, they don't go to ITV."
But Nigel Pickard, ITV's director of programmes, denied the summer schedule was dominated by celebrity and insisted the new programmes were a response to increased competition. "This is a time of year when we face increasingly strong competition from our commercial rivals," he said. " Big Brother has done big business for Channel 4. This year we are not going to take it lying down."
In the first two months of the year, ITV1's viewing figures fell by nearly 10 per cent. The channel blamed the decline on the success the previous year of I'm A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here, in which two contestants - Katie Price aka Jordan and the faded pop star Peter André - became a couple. ITV hopes to recreate that success with Celebrity Love Island.
Mr Pickard said: "The idea was out there before, but when we saw the Peter André/Jordan thing happening we just realised what great television that was. This is not a bonking marathon. It's not a shag-fest."
Gary Rhodes will take Gordon Ramsay's spot, putting the heat on would-be chefs
Hit Me Baby
Takes pop acts from the last century, including Gloria Gaynor, to try again
Have I Been Here Before?
Philip Schofield will take celebrities back to their past lives
Celebrity Love Island
"Not a shag-fest", but aiming to recreate the Jordan-André chemistry of I'm a Celebrity
auctionThe first 23 lots have now gone. But there are 22 more still up for grabs
healthJames Bond's alcohol consumption puts him at 'high risk' of cirrhosis, tremors... and impotence
musicPolice chief rejects rappers' claims that his work is as dangerous as law enforcement or military service
comedy'Fresh Meat' star sees off stiff competition from Alan Carr, David Mitchell, Graham Norton, Lee Mack and Sarah Millican to win top prize
tvSpoiler alert: Find out the result of a heated final show
Beatles rush out 'bootleg' album to defy EU copyright law
Harvey Weinstein reveals his secret weapon on-set
Now that an oil trader's drinking has got him sacked, will we all have to make do with an afternoon latte?
Chiwetel Ejiofor and Idris Elba get nods for Best Actor, which no black Brit has ever won
Geoffrey Macnab reviews The Desolation of Smaug - the meat in Peter Jackson's Hobbit sandwich
peopleWhat advice would David Cameron give to his younger self?
- 1 Nelson Mandela memorial: ‘Bogus’ sign language interpreter made mockery of Barack Obama’s tribute in Soweto
- 2 Mystery of Epping Forest 'big cat' is solved
- 3 French café starts charging extra to rude customers
- 4 Australia incest case: Severely deformed children found in remote farming community after generations of inbreeding
- 5 Physicists discover 'clearest evidence yet' that the Universe is a hologram
- < Previous
- Next >
£18000 - £20000 per annum: Inspiring Interns: This company delivers display ad...
£21000 - £27000 per annum + Benefits: Corporate Traveller: We're looking for t...
£40000 - £45000 per annum + excellent benefits : PCR Recruitment Limited: CRM ...
£23000 - £27000 per annum + £18K & Uncapped Commission & Benefits: Flight Cent...