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Television: ITV poaches Beeb talent

ITV's new bosses have raided the BBC's ideas cupboard for its 1998 programming season. New programming chief David Liddiment has poached comedians Frank Skinner and David Baddiel (pictured) to present a liver version of Fantasy Football League during next year's World Cup finals.

Fantasy World Cup will air 16 times during the finals, an hour after the last game of the day, giving the comedians just an hour to write gags about the day's action. The pair had killed the BBC2 show off after the end of Euro `96 but decided to bring it back after fans kept asking when it would return: "We thought, why are we being so poncy about it?" said Frank Skinner yesterday. "Let's absolutely drive it into the ground. Let's milk it until it's a dried-up husk."

Joining Fantasy Football on ITV next year will be Richard Wilson, star of the BBC's One Foot of the Grave, in a new comedy called Duck Patrol, and Samantha Janus, star of the BBC's `young people in a flat' comedy Game On in an ITV comedy, about young people in a flat, called Babes in the Wood.