Reality television 2: They're the new generation games

'Strictly' is over and, as one season of contests closes, along come some unexpected innovations

Former EastEnder and early favourite Kara Tointon, 28, was named last night as the winner of this year's Strictly Come Dancing. Turning to her dance partner, Artem Chigvintsev, she said: "I want to thank this man – he's been wonderful." But she admitted she was "a bit embarrassed" to be handed the title as Chigvintsev reassured her: "You're amazing."

And so, this result, and tonight's selection by Lord Sugar of his latest apprentice, will bring to an end another year of reality television. Any fans suffering withdrawal symptoms, however, will not suffer cold turkey for long. There will be only a couple of weeks' respite before the next batch of prime-time reality TV programmes hits our screens.

The BBC is kickstarting 2011 with the launch of a new magic show, The Magicians, on New Year's Day, while another line-up of celebrities will start showing off their skating skills on ITV's Dancing on Ice the following weekend.

The Magicians will take over from Strictly (which also returns for a festive special on Christmas Day featuring contestants who include the Business Secretary, Vince Cable, and Torchwood actor John Barrowman) as Saturday-night family entertainment. The new show, hosted by Lenny Henry, will feature four magicians – American sleight-of-hand artist Chris Korn, illusionist Luis de Matos and vaudeville duo Barry and Stuart – who will perform tricks with a different celebrity partner each week.

Famous faces signed up to take part include the presenter of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?, Chris Tarrant, the artist Rolf Harris, hip-hop group N-Dubz and Ashley Banjo from the street dance troupe Diversity, which won Britain's Got Talent last year.

The magician Paul Daniels, who appeared as a contestant in this year's Strictly Come Dancing, did not know whether The Magicians would bring new people into magic but believed audiences were ready for a programme that was not essentially music-based. However, he added: "I know years ago they did celebrity magic on American TV and it virtually killed the magic off for a while in America, because people thought if [I Love Lucy sitcom star] Lucille Ball can saw someone in half, anyone can. They missed the whole point, that magic is a theatrical art and the tricks themselves can be very simple; it's all about the presentation."

ITV's Dancing on Ice returns for a sixth series on 9 January. In a shake-up of the format, viewers will choose which celebrities take part, picking 12 people from 16 hopefuls in the first two weeks before the competition proper starts in the third week. The line-up includes rapper Vanilla Ice, the former Neighbours actor Craig McLachlan, cricketer Dominic Cork, actress Nadia Sawalha, former I'm a Celebrity... winner Kerry Katona and Victoria Cross hero Lance Corporal Johnson Beharry.

Other reality shows scheduled for release early next year include A Farmer's Life for Me, on BBC 2, in which nine couples compete to win their own smallholding for a year, and BBC 3's fly-on-the-wall documentary Junior Doctor, which lets viewers follow the lives of newly qualified medical staff.

Last week, ITV announced that the comedian Michael McIntyre and the actor David Hasselhoff will join the actress Amanda Holden as judges on the new series of Britain's Got Talent, which begins in the spring.

Tonight, viewers of BBC 1's The Apprentice will see the investment banker Chris Bates, 23, and fellow contestant Stella English, 30, who works for a Japanese bank, compete to win a job with Lord Sugar. The final is the last in a string of reality shows to reach their climax in recent weeks.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment
Stik on the crane as he completed the mural
art
News
Happy in his hat: Pharrell Williams
people
News
i100(More than you think)
News
Phyllis Dorothy James on stage during a reading of her book 'Death Comes to Pemberley' last year
peopleJohn Walsh pays tribute to PD James, who died today
News
peopleExclusive: Maryum and Hana Ali share their stories of the family man behind the boxing gloves
Arts and Entertainment
John Hurt will voice Prince Bolkonsky in Radio 4's War and Peace
radioRadio 4 to broadcast 10-hour adaptation of War and Peace on first day of 2015
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Media

Langley James : Web Developer; PHP, MySQL, Java; Blackfriars; £25k

£25000 per annum + training: Langley James : Web Developer; PHP, MySQL, Java; ...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £45000 per annum + uncapped: SThree: Key featuresA highly motivated ...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £45000 per annum + uncapped: SThree: Key featuresA highly motivated ...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£18000 - £30000 per annum + uncapped: SThree: Do you feel your sales role is l...

Day In a Page

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

Sarkozy returns

The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game
There's a Good Girl exhibition: How female creatives are changing the way women are portrayed in advertising

In pictures: There's a Good Girl exhibition

The new exhibition reveals how female creatives are changing the way women are portrayed in advertising
UK firm Biscuiteers is giving cookies a makeover - from advent calendars to doll's houses

UK firm Biscuiteers is giving cookies a makeover

It worked with cupcakes, doughnuts and macarons so no wonder someone decided to revamp the humble biscuit
Can SkySaga capture the Minecraft magic?

Can SkySaga capture the Minecraft magic?

It's no surprise that the building game born in Sweden in 2009 and now played by millions, has imitators keen to construct their own mega money-spinner
The King's School is way ahead of the pack when it comes to using the latest classroom technology

Staying connected: The King's School

The school in Cambridgeshire is ahead of the pack when it comes to using the latest classroom technology. Richard Garner discovers how teachers and pupils stay connected
Christmas 2014: 23 best women's perfumes

Festively fragrant: the best women's perfumes

Give a loved one a luxe fragrance this year or treat yourself to a sensual pick-me-up
Arsenal vs Borussia Dortmund: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain celebrates century with trademark display of speed and intuition

Arsenal vs Borussia Dortmund

The Ox celebrates century with trademark display of speed and intuition
Billy Joe Saunders vs Chris Eubank Jnr: When two worlds collide

When two worlds collide

Traveller Billy Joe Saunders did not have a pampered public-school upbringing - unlike Saturday’s opponent Chris Eubank Jnr
Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Drifting and forgotten - turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Our partner charities help veterans on the brink – and get them back on their feet
Putin’s far-right ambition: Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU

Putin’s far-right ambition

Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU
Tove Jansson's Moominland: What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?

Escape to Moominland

What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?